Bears and Lions, the country’s best children’s music group featuring grownups wearing animal costumes, is back with a new EP, Wild and Free from 8 Pound Gorilla Records. The pandemic could make kids feel like caged beasts, especially during lockdowns and remote learning. B&L sympathize (it’s tough to get those outfits dry-cleaned if you’re in quarantine) and share some rocking tunes with ecological messages, to boot.
Stage gear does not translate through your sound system. However, Bears and Lions pass the authenticity test through the strength of their material. “Porcupine” is a story of camaraderie told through the perspective of getting past differences and seeing how everyone looks the same (from a hot air balloon). Relationships are also the theme of “Friendship Song,” using the simple concept of music bonding people and critters. “The Wagon” aromatically narrates the kind of things that families encounter when they go on vacations, but points out “At the end of the day, we’re far away, but we’re okay.” Tykes who get amped when the sun goes down will enjoy “Go to Bed,” billed as the world’s first anti-bedtime anthem. It’s a raver in the style of the group’s massive breakfast rocker, “Pancakes!”
Speaking of the ecological message, that gets addressed on “Wild and Free,” the kid-hop title track, where Bears and Lions advocate for their um… humane rights on this shared planet:
One hundred million years we’ve been on this EarthMan, we deserve a place, deserve to be heardSo listen to our words, we have things to sayLike don’t you want to be wild and free
Bears and Lions look forward to seeing your kids when the children’s music live performances are safe and vaccines are available for the under-five set. Prepare to answer your daughter when she asks, “Why does the lion have a better six-pack set of abs than you, daddy?” My suggested reply, “That’s what happens when you get to roam wild and free, and don’t work remote.”
Here is the video for the band’s song, “Go to Bed!”: