is seemingly never at a loss for imaginative lyrics and ear-catching tunes. This time around, he presents his ideas as a sort of alternate universe TV variety show for kids, starring Marvy Monstone. Todd McHatton Presents Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band
, curiosity, wonder, and silliness via some great psychedelic pop tunes, perfect for the whole music-loving family. Definitely some of the best kids' music of 2012. Give it a listen over at Todd McHatton's Bandcamp page
-based Todd McHatton has been creating his one-man brand of psychedelic powerpop since 2008, when Grass Stained Twilight
appeared along with a self-illustrated book of lyrics. The six-song Christmas Songs
EP was released in 2009, followed by the brief 2010 single “Happy Birthday Harry,” his tribute to Harry Nilsson (the song is still available on McHatton’s website as a free download!). The full length Sundays at the Rocket Park
came out later in 2010, and was chosen as one of the Ten Best Kids’ Albums of 2010 by Time Out New York Kids. Galactic Champions of Joy
was released in the fall of 2011 and landed on our list of Best Kids' Music of 2011. This was followed the same year by the holiday singles “Perfect Pumpkins” and "The Happy Vegan Thanksgiving Song," and finally in 2012 by Todd McHatton Presents Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band
The Music of 'Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band'
Todd McHatton Presents Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band
introduces the main character and his group with the mock theme song title tune, sort of like a "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
" for kids. Marvy then describes his Muppet-like singing voice on the bluesy "Here's the Thing," then he's distracted by and attracted to something "Ooh Shiny," detailed by a punky pop
tune. Marvy Monstone's pal Finch sings the self-descriptive "Fuzzy & Orange," succinctly describing his appearance via a New Wave
synth pop arrangement. "Alright Already" is simply a song of joy and exuberance, powered by straight ahead rock that sounds similar to something that might be on a George Harrison
solo album. The lengthily-titled "The Plan With the Crystal and the Bear" follows a conversation between a couple of characters as they confusingly discuss an undercover adventure in a similar way to Abbott and Costello's classic "Who's On First
" routine. Marvy then sings about how he loves a "Big Smiley Face" via some great psychedelic pop.
More Music from 'Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band'
"Rainbows Surround You" is a nifty little psyche pop
tune, reminiscent of early Traffic, about a little girl named Hazel who exudes good vives. A kid says, "Hey There Neighbor," and invites Marvy over to play and have tea, while mod-era Who
seem to power "So Nice to Meetcha," another tune about inviting friends over to play. McHatton has fun with stereo separation on the song "Ee Oh," as the voices of different characters appear in each headphone. Amuzing play-on-words lyric: "Your stare ee oh is odd ee oh / Your stereo is audio." The lazy groove of "Warm & Sunny" celebrates the comfort of sunshine, while two friends enjoy "Making Cookies" together. The amuzingly-titled "Hill Larry Us" is by far the wordiest song on Todd McHatton Presents Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band
, performed by McHatton in a talking blues style similar to that found on Bob Dylan
's first few albums. The record closes with "Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band Reprise," as Marvy and Finch bid listeners farewell.
If nothing else, Todd McHatton creates kids' music that is unlike anything else out there. From 2008's Grass Stained Twilight to 2012's Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band he's produced a string of albums and singles featuring dense, tuneful songs full of thought-provoking lyrics. Marvy Monstone won't disappoint fans of McHatton, and might even win over a few new listeners as its lead character leads them through a series of songs about friendship, adventure, and wide-eyed wonder. One of the best kids' music CDs of 2012.
Released September 21, 2012; Swoontoon
- "Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band Intro"
- "Here's the Thing"
- "Ooh Shiny"
- "Fuzzy & Orange"
- "Alright Already"
- "The Plan With the Crystal and the Bear"
- "Big Smiley Face"
- "Rainbows Surround You"
- "Hey There Neighbor"
- "So Nice to Meetcha"
- "Ee Oh"
- "Warm & Sunny"
- "Making Cookies"
- "Hill Larry Us"
- "Marvy Monstone's Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band Reprise"