Thursday, 16 March 2023

Single Review: Shawny - Justin Time

Shawny is an exciting new artist from Montreal in Canada, who has been creating music since the early pandemic days of 2020. He writes fun and meaningful songs that provide appeal to both the young and young at heart. He describes himself as an "edu-tainer", in that his background resides in early childhood education, which provides the bedrock for many of his educational themes.

Although he has only been around for a relatively short time, he has already made a huge splash on the children's music scene, having been featured on numerous radio shows and podcasts, and become increasingly active live.  Drawing inspiration from a long line of superb Canadian musicians including the likes of Raffi, and Sharon, Lois & Bram. He is clearly in good company.

His latest release "Justin Time", shows him venturing into rock territory, with pristine vocals, delightful harmonies and as catchy a tune as you are ever likely to hear. The song utilises a play on words, where the central character of the song will 'never keep you waiting because being late is a crime'. 

The song features live instrumentation throughout, including bass, drums, keyboards and what sounds like a slightly distorted guitar firing away in the background. One of the major strengths of the song is the lead vocals, which have a purity of intent, and resonate superbly throughout. There are also opportunities for counting throughout the song incorporated neatly into an inspired arrangement.

All in all a significant new talent here, who has set a hectic pace in the short time he has been treading the boards. I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more from him in the future.

Shawny - just in time to dance.

Friday, 10 February 2023

Single Review: Marsha and the Positrons and Claudia Robin Gunn - Thank You Science

One of the many things that the kindie community does well is collaborate, and there has been a spate of excellent collaborations of late. These include Esther Crow with Father Goose Music, Ashley Mills Monaghan with Music with Michal and Itty Bitty Beats with Benny Time to name just a few. One of my absolute favourites has to be "Thank You Science" an exciting collaboration between Claudia Robin Gunn and Marsha and the Positrons. The song is a celebration of science put to a dance beat, and highlights the significant contribution women have made to this field. The song is also well-timed, releasing tomorrow, February 11th which, if you weren't already aware, is International Women and Girls in Science Day. 

Interestingly, the song begins with the chorus with a lovely reciprocal vocal that hypnotises and delights in turn. The music has a lovely laid-back groove featuring a dance beat and some tasteful melodic bass underpinning the vocals which describe the numerous benefits of science to society. Whether this is 'teaching us at school', or helping us 'to understand the human race', this scientific journey goes into considerable depth. There are also a number of exquisite vocal performances on the song, with Marsha and Claudia being joined by the very talented Ayanna Gallant.

What I love about the song is the way each vocalist provides their own interpretation of the melody, adding significant impact to the overall sound. The originality of delivery includes both textural depth and cerebral sentiment, and is executed with noticeable flair. The bridge offers a significant departure with a melodic shift enabling the lyrics to further explore the scientific process where we 'gather data', and then 'hypothesise' before the melody soars upwards in rapturous delight. The song also contains a wonderful musical interlude incorporating a keyboard pattern slightly reminiscent of "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who.

All in all a very ambitious song, which manages to cram copious scientific ideas into a somewhat compressed space and does so in fine style. A marvellous journey into the world of science accompanied by music that swoops and soars like birds piercing the clouds. The harmonies are superb as are the lyrics, which capture the attention of the listener throughout. Clearly a lot of thought has gone in to the writing and arranging of this song, and it has certainly paid off with a superb educational track serving to remind the listener of the significant contribution women have made to the field of science.

Marsha and the Positrons and Claudia Robin Gunn - the sound of experimentation.