If there’s one thing a diehard music fan loves to complain about, it’s lack of variety. It’s less of a problem now than it used to be, but during the monoculture era, anyone who wasn’t into the latest craze really had no choice but to wait it out while the music press, Top 40 radio, and MTV bombarded listeners with more of the same.
Now that we all have free Pandora, plenty of iPod storage, and the ability to share our Spotify playlists with all our social network friends, we can be as eclectic as we wanna be — but as it turns out, we’re still creatures of habit at heart. Much as we might like to brag about shuffle mode taking us from Anthrax to Coltrane to Britney Spears (post-ironically enjoyed, of course), deep down, we want to know which slot each of those artists fits into. When bands are genuinely eclectic, it scares us a little. We want to know, as Faith No More once shouted, “What is it?”
Enter Ashton Allen, Devin Moore, Emma Jean Branch, and Yara — a.k.a. Rabbit!, the resolutely adorable indie-pop quartet whose last full-length release, Connect the Dots, was a family favorite here at Dadnabbit HQ (my review is here). The band didn’t market the album as a “kids’ music” release, and as far as I knew, they weren’t a “kids’ music” band — which is why, the first time I listened to their new release, Go For It, I had no idea anything was different about Rabbit! this time around. (Dirty Dadnabbit secret: I tend not to read press releases.)
But something is different. And nothing is different, actually. Wait, let me explain: Without exactly seeming to mean to do it, Rabbit! has bounded into the kindiesphere with the same cheerful abandon that’s always made their music so sweetly addictive — and they’ve done it without really making a kids’ album at all. Where most artists court the family scene by adjusting their sound, Rabbit! has watched the scene come to them. These are songs equally enjoyable by toddlers, tweens, parents, and non-breeding indie-pop hipsters. It’s really pretty impressive, and I wanted to talk to Rabbit! co-founder Ashton Allen about the band’s journey. Continue reading