Hailing from West Columbia, South Carolina, Lunch Money are Molly Ledford (guitar and songwriting), Jay Barry (drums), and J.P. Stephens (bass). Ledford and Barry played together in the indie rock band The Verna Cannon before they formed the equally sparse, but decidedly more upbeat, Lunch Money with Stephens in 2003.
Their first kids' album, Silly Reflection, was released in 2004, and slowly became an underground hit with critics and fans. The band are now on the leading edge of the new kindie rock movement, and, with the release of Dizzy, show no signs of letting up.
In the spirit of punky pop, nary a song on Dizzy reaches the 3-minute mark. Jangly, chugging guitars propel indie rock pop nuggets like "I Love My Library," "Everybody's Coming to the Zoo," "Are You a Rabbit?" "Tiny Dinosaurs," and "A Cookie as Big as My Head."
The biggest difference between Dizzy and the band's debut album Silly Reflection is the addition of trumpet, saxophone, and violin to some songs, courtesy of Ed Trujillo, Robert Gardiner, and Dan Cook, respectively. The extra instrumentation gives punch to tunes like "Ate Too Much of My Favorite Food" and "I Love My Library."
Dizzy is rounded out by several thoughtful, introspective songs like "Somehow a Frog Finds a Pond," "At the River," and "Wake Up, World." The equally tender "It Only Takes One Night to Make a Balloon Your Friend" could be paired with Komako Sakai's picture book Emily's Balloon or Albert Lamorisse's classic The Red Balloon.
When a band lead off their album with a self-depreciating song about their collective height ("5'7''"), you know they're in it for fun. And you can certainly hear the joy in Molly Ledford's voice with every line. Dizzy definitely shows that Lunch Money are only getting better, and the album should be on everyone's list of the best kids' music of 2009.
Released January 13, 2009; Squirrel Mechanic Records
- "I Love My Library"
- "Everybody's Coming to the Zoo"
- "Somehow a Frog Finds a Pond"
- "It Only Takes One Night to Make a Balloon Your Friend"
- "Are You a Rabbit?"
- "Ate Too Much of My Favorite Food"
- "At the River"
- "Wake Up, World"
- "Tiny Dinosaurs"
- "A Cookie As Big As My Head"