Turkey Andersen Sings Smart Songs for Kids on Debut EP

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There’s a lot of children’s music that seems to operate on the premise that banality is just fine for little kids, and then there’s Turkey Andersen. Like his compatriots Mister G, They Might Be Giants and Dan Zanes, the Northampton singer and songwriter treats children like co-conspirators in fun instead of as dimwits on his self-titled debut EP. It’s a collection of eight songs that are fanciful without being fussy, and silly but never stupid.

The music is a catchy blend of guitar and keyboards, with melodies that have a gentle pop bent and lyrics that very much take into account a kid’s point of view. Turkey Andersen finds adventure in the seemingly mundane on “There’s a Knot in the Lace of My Shoe” — “How did I ever get into this mess?/ Don’t want to ask for help,” he sings in a sentiment that’s surely familiar to most kids, and also their parents — and offers common-sense advice for choosing apparel on “Time Travel Clothes”: don’t wear your Beatles t-shirt when you visit a pre-1960 past, for example. “Everybody knows when you’re traveling in time, you have to wear the proper clothes,” he sings.

All along, you get the sense that Turkey Andersen is down on the floor with his listeners, taking them seriously, offering explanations when required on songs like “The Rain Has to Fall,” and generally helping them to explore the world around them and the far reaches of their own imaginations. It’s smart, simple and fun music on songs that even parents won’t mind getting stuck in their heads.

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