Monkeynauts, rejoice! Recess Monkey is back with their second new album this year, Desert Island Disc, a companion to the summer's release of Deep Sea Diver. While both share a basic theme of the ocean and aquatic life, Desert Island Disc is an invigorating change of pace with a distinct sound that the entire family can enjoy.
Where Deep Sea Diver had the unbridled energy and zest that families happily expect from the Seattle kindie rock trio, Desert Island Disc introduces graceful arrangements by composer Jherek Bischoff that bring down the energy – but keep the fun.
"Dessert Island," a fantastic look at life on an island of sweets, combines a wink to a commonly misspelled word with the captivating accompaniment of string instruments to make a memorable impression. "Coconut Radio" and "Long Gone" also take advantage of the orchestration with melodies that bring to mind daydreaming on warm sand and peering up at the sunlight filtered through palm tree leaves.
That's not to say that Desert Island Disc falls short on the excitement, however. "The Hermit" is an animated song that completely captures the exuberance of scuttling crabs. In fact, my daughter immediately drops to all fours like a hermit crab and scurries around the room each time she hears the first few boisterous notes. "Round the Campfire" is a toe-tapping number that will get any tot up on their feet and hopping for two minutes straight.
Desert Island Disc also includes Recess Monkey's signature word plays and witty lyrics that parents and older kids can appreciate. "Pearls of Wisdom" and "The Cave" are hilarious, and are certain to grab the attentive ears of little listeners. Recess Monkey members Jack Forman, Drew Holloway and Korum Bischoff are masters at using storytelling and word play in their lyrics for a musical experience that simultaneously gets kids dancing, includes parents in on the jokes, and evokes memories of the sun-filled, joyous days of childhood.
With 10 albums now under their hat, Recess Monkey continues to prove why they are one of Seattle's favorite family bands, all while showing off a new sound that completely complements their style. If you're about to be marooned on the desert island of a family road trip, and there's just one new album you can bring along, there's no better choice than Desert Island Disc.
This fall you can catch Recess Monkey's new Tambourine Submarine show at Teatro ZinZanni, kicking off Oct. 19. Recess Monkey is also joining forces with the Seattle Symphony next spring for a concert that combines ukuleles, strings and percussion for more desert island fun.
Desert Island Disc is available on Oct. 15 at a suggested retail price of $14.99.
Kelly Knox is a Seattle-area writer and mom who would enjoy visiting a dessert island from time to time.