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The Crayonettes – Playing Out

Katie-Nan Coleman


When you think of children’s music you get an image of some bubbly 20 something singing along with a group of puppets to a song about numbers or the ABC. You certainly don’t think that amongst the simple lyrics and easy tunes you’ll come across some really talented musicians. However, The Crayonettes break the mould with Playing Out; an album full of cleverly put together songs, each with a simple meaning but great rhythms for children of all ages.

Of course the singers are definitely not your average band for children either; they are folk songstress Kathryn Williams and Anna Spencer, formerly of punk band Delicate Vomit. The two mothers were fed up with what songs their children were subject to and so came up with the idea for Playing Out. This album may not be your cup of tea and personally I don’t think I would choose it as my summer listen, but I would rate it high in terms of what they have done for children’s music. In some respects they have revolutionized the children’s music industry and brought a more trendy feel to the songs rather than baby each song down into a Teletubby classic.

Tracks on the album which stand out include Disco Teeth, a song about the benefits of brushing your teeth with a soft and almost country guitar feel to it. Emergency, which offers a very tropical feel to it, even if it is about a fireman rescuing a cat stuck in a tree. Pirates On A Bus which is self explanatory and has a heavy guitar rift to accompany the electro-pop type sound and finally my personal favourite Robots In The Rain, which reminds me of an old indie song you’d find playing in some small, run down coffee shop, performed by two hippy girls. So if you’re looking for an alternative for your child, baby brother or sister or just fancy listening to something that is informative and requires no effort give Playing Out a try.

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