The Texas-based band The Que Pastas started out as a somewhat jokier band. (They also started out as a Colorado-based band, but that's an entirely different story.) Over time, while they haven't exactly dropped their sense of humor, chief Pastas Gene Davis and Simon Flory have added a healthy dose of heart to their songs.
Meet You By the Moon, their recently-released second full-length album, is a major step forward for the band, a solid collection of Americana with touches of the Beatles and the third grade cutup. The band's always had a bit of Americana sound, but with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97s, Rhett Miller, among others) at the helm, it's brought more to the fore in sound, attitude, and instrumentation. There's the stomp of "Llama," the hint of zydeco on the reading anthem "Book Lion," and the fiddle accents on the suffused-with-heart "Saturday Morning." And for every jokey song like "Common Denominator" (a re-recorded version of an early demo track), there's a new song like "Helen's Song," written from the perspective of a parent looking forward to future awesome events in their child's life (e.g., first corn dog at the State Fair).
The 26-minute album is most appropriate for kids ages 4 through 8. While the band's fans who grew up appreciating the band's outgoing attitude with a touch of class clown in their songs will still find songs to scratch that itch, wearing more heart on their sleeve will hopefully expand their audience further. Definitely recommended.
Note: I received a copy of the album for possible review.