Hailing from West Columbia, South Carolina, Lunch Money are Molly Ledford (guitar and songwriting), Jay Barry (drums), and J.P. Stephens (bass). Molly Ledford and Jay Barry played together in the indie rock band The Verna Cannon before they formed the equally sparse, but decidedly more upbeat, Lunch Money with J.P. 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 their sophomore album Dizzy in 2009 and their third CD Original Friend late in 2010, Lunch Money show no signs of letting up.
A Background on Carolina Kids' Music
Lunch Money join a burgeoning underground kids’ music movement rumbling around in North Carolina and South Carolina. Other Carolina-based kindie rock bands include Asheville, North Carolina’s Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, the alter ego of Joel Sullivan, who brings quality hip hop to the kids’ music arena. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo uses his skills as an MC and his expertise as a producer to make head bobbing rap songs about dragons, self-confidence, a banjo-playing grasshopper, and friendship. Read a full review of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo’s kids’ music debut Easy, one of our picks for Best Kids’ Music of 2008, and stop by the official Secret Agent 23 Skidoo webpage while you’re at it.
Big Bang Boom, a three piece band that includes Chuck Folds, the younger brother of ‘90’s indie rocker Ben Folds, hail from Greensboro, North Carolina. Their kids’ music debut, B3, was also released in 2008 and is full of funky, poppy, and silly songs about siblings, under-the-bed monsters, and dancing. You can drop by the official Big Bang Boom webpage and find out more about Chuck Folds’ other musical projects.
The Music of 'Silly Reflection'
Oh, the memories that accumulate on a “Tricycle” when it’s passed down from family member to family member: a dent in the fender, purple sparkle streamers, a Snoopy sticker and a “Keep On Truckin’” license plate. Here comes the “Caboose,” a finger snappin’, “Fever”-inspired ode to the last car on the train. And rainy days are cool because you get to twirl your “Umbrella” and watch everyone act like Gene Kelly.
“Roller Coaster” dares you to put your ride ticket where your mouth is, quit hanging out by the tea cups, and get on board! Yes, daddy-o, “We Have Rhythm,” from birth, it seems, where we learned it from our own heartbeat. “Got to Watch Out” made me think of one of those pastoral songs Ray Davies wrote for The Kinks in the mid- to late-60’s. And the best reason to “Want a Dog?” Well, you can’t walk a hamster down the street!
Low key, cheerful, lyrically inventive, funny: Silly Reflection is a great debut from Lunch Money, and hopefully a reflection of more silliness to come (wow, that was bad)! Kudos to drummer Jay Barry for his CD package design. The layout and graphics are first class! Oh, and make sure to check out their later releases, 2009’s Dizzy and 2010’s Original Friend, both of which made our lists of Best Kids’ Music of 2009 and Best Kids' Music of 2011, respectively. For more information about Lunch Money’s music, tour dates, or band members’ biographies, head on over to the official Lunch Money website.
Released December 9, 2004; Squirrel Mechanic Records
- "Silly Reflection”
- “Miniature Things”
- “Yes, We Have Rhythm”
- “Got to Watch Out”
- “Roller Coaster”
- “I Want a Dog”