Anti-folk icon Kimya Dawson's latest album is Alphabutt, a collection of hilarious, catchy, scatological kids' music that's sure to delight parents who are weary of treacly children's songs. If your kids are going to sing a song over an over again, isn't it better if the song goes, "A is for Apple, B is for Butt, C is for Cat-butt, D is for Doo-Doo, E is for Elephant-butt, F is for Fart, G is for Gorilla-fart, H is for Hairy Gorilla-fart"?
Like millions of others, I discovered Dawson's music through the film Juno — a pretty good movie with a totally killer soundtrack, and Dawson's contributions to it are the standouts. I've since bought all her music and now I find myself singing her catchy, funny, rude tunes all the time. I've been listening to Alphabutt around the clock for weeks now, and singing the songs to my daughter, who enjoys their off-kilter, jangly humor even though she's too small to get the words yet.
Though this is kids' music, it's pure Dawson — weird and irreverent and jangly, with charming guest vocals from her two-year-old daughter Panda Bear and many guest singers. The tracks range from sweet and weird to funny and weird, and they're shot through with compassion, wit and talent. From songs about pregnancy neurosis ("Smoothie") to toilet training ("Pee-Pee in the Potty") to surviving the pressure to conform ("Keep on Writing") to pure delightful nonsense ("Seven Hungry Tigers"), this album is an absolute knockout.