Public funding for the arts was imperiled during the past few years in the United States, but it’s still thriving in other countries such as New Zealand. The independent “NZ On Air” program provides government funding that allows performers such as the Itty Bitty Beats to deliver quality and diverse public media. The duo (Jenny Payne and Lucy Hiku) met at Jazz School in Christchurch in 2002 and started recording children’s music four years ago after the birth of their children (Keeping things in the family, Jenny’s husband Rob Payne has produced all of their music). The Beats’ have released music that reaches emotional highs (Christmas in July) and lows (Baby Loss Awareness).
Their new six-song Itty Bitty Bubbles EP received NZ on Air funding and it’s filled with more froth and frolicking than you might think was ever possible. Working under the premise that bubbles are a fun, intensive sensory activity to share with youngsters, Jenny and Lucy deliver tunes that range from 60s pop (“Bubbles In My Bathtub” sounds like Herman’s Hermit’s “I’m Into Something Good”) to show tunes (“Bubble Storm”) to rockabilly (“Bubble Shop”).
Here is the lyric video for “Bubble Shop”:
It’s been awhile since Danny Weinkauf and the Red Pants Band released new music, but their new CD is coming on August 20 from 8 Lb Gorilla Records. In the meantime, Danny has released “Words,” a new single featuring his family and lead vocals by bandmate Tina Kenny Jones. Danny is especially stoked about the accompanying video, which was created by 25 animators from six countries. The pop tune illustrates (literally) the power of words and the impact our individual words can have, both negative and positive. Grab the song from Danny’s website, Amazon, Deezer, or Apple Music.
You can watch the video here: