When I first heard The Hipwaders I immediately got a (fabulous) strong eighties vibe – the mod-rock sounds of The Stray Cats, Devo and the B-52s shine through on these tracks for hip kids.
The Hipwaders are a US trio that has been playing the juice-box circuit for over five years. They have three albums and an EP to their name and set themselves apart by avoiding the standard topics for kid’s tunes and instead focus on the off-beat – with a strong beat. Expect songs about volcanos, the Dewey Decimal System, messy rooms, earthquakes and field trips – I hardly dare mention that kids might actually learn something from listening to this music because it is way too cool to be filed under ‘educational’.
Recognizing that people’s music habits have changed considerably with the advent of MP3 downloads, The Hipwaders most recent release is an EP titled Goodie Bag. My friends have listened to me bemoan the fact that because of MP3 downloads, little thought goes into ‘creating an album’ – people pick out individual tracks and leave the rest, often overlooking some gems and certainly loosing the overall ‘feel’ of an album that you got in the old-days with vinyl.
So The Hipwaders avoided the ‘fillers’ and instead have put together a tight, ten track EP packed with fantastic songs. Always Mom is a stunning homage to mums everywhere, Field Trip is pure fun and Things You Want makes a fitting segue to My New Camera (a nice emphasis on the ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-you’s’).
Be sure to check out earlier Hipwaders albums. My favourites include Educated Kid, Geometry and My Messy Room which is pure Stray Cats (remember She’s Sexy and 17? ). Don’t miss the Partridge Family meets the Beach-Boys inspired Valentine – so sweet.
Lastly, saving us all from another year of Frosty the Snowman, The Hipwaders’ A Kindie Christmas album is musical relief in the jingling landscape that usually hits around October.
Albums are available from iTunes for $16.99 and the Goodie Bag EP is $13.52.