Spring is rabbit season. More precisely, the kids’ band Rabbit! has returned with Happiness Is Simple, an eight-song EP of new material from children’s music label 8 Pound Gorilla. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that location is a state of mind. Songwriters Ashton Allen (currently in Orlando, Florida) and Devin Moore (living in Seattle, Washington) spent a decade writing catchy tunes for TV shows and advertisements. When clients asked for bright, sprightly upbeat pop, they heard themselves in kid-centric commercials. One thing led to another which led to live shows, two CDS (Connect the Dots and Go for It!), three EPs, and the early pandemic anthem, “We Are All in This Together.”
With the world breaking free from COVID with vaccines and smart mask-wearing, Rabbit! delivers eight little parables in funlicious, preteen-digestible mouthfuls. Self-determination is on the agenda with “Let’s Get Started,” the title track, and “Tough Enough.” Introspection is a metaphor when you step inside your personal “Submarine.” Obedience versus unconditional love is the topic for pet lovers in “Dogs Like These.” Sometimes you need to go with the flow, as evidenced by “(I Let the) Wheels of the Bus” taking listeners on a ride. And parents tired of endless Google Meets and Zoom meetings will appreciate the sentiment of “Hush Heard ‘Round the World”:
Quiet is now trending
And I know it sounds absurd
That there’s something counter-culture about being taciturn
The rascals behind Rabbit! draw their inspiration from a generation of “bubblegum” performers who spoke to audiences without stumbling over political correctness or fear of being too smart for their own good. We’ve all gone through a tough time and we all want to believe that happiness is simple. Not to where world hunger can be solved in a 2:25 song, but maybe that tune can get a youngster to stop tantruming or complaining, take a deep breath, and do something constructive. If parents can accomplish that with an eight-song EP, then indeed Happiness Is Simple.
Here is the lyric video for “Dogs Like These”: