Juno winners and multiple time MusicNL nominees capture magic once again with their new album The Superstar Sibling Detective Agency
What do you get when you combine two sweet as pie school teachers, the greatest beard in children’s entertainment, an armadillo, guitar playing octopus, cape wearing frog and a pair of superstar sibling detectives? Why, you get the sophomore album of Juno winners The Swinging Belles!
Yes, fresh off a whopping five MusicNL nominations (including Album of the Year and Entertainer of the Year) and a host of engagements in France, the trio of Laura Winter, Erin Power and Duane Andrews have uncorked their delightful collection of 12 kid-friendly tunes in the form of The Superstar Sibling Detective Agency.
But make no mistake adults, this is a collection of tracks that will bring out the kid in each and every one of us. Call it children’s music with a sophisticated twist. Sophisticated kid friendly, if you will.
“Kids are so creative and so open, so you can try anything with them and they’re always up for it,” says Power in a sitdown with The Herald. “We just try to keep up and match their creativity really. They’re just brilliant. That’s why we don’t dumb down songs, because they’re intelligent beings”
“That has always been kind of our mandate. We couldn’t live with ourselves if we were putting out non-intelligent music,” adds Winter. “That’s how our approach is in the classroom, even with the youngest kids. We treat them like people, like human beings. We don’t baby them. They have a unique perspective and unique culture, the idea of children having their own unique culture and world view of things is something we’ve thought a lot about.”
Andrews, the seasoned, respected, guitar virtuoso agrees, noting that the sophomore outing of the Belles truly allowed the trio to balance the idea of children’s music with something to say.
“Children are perhaps the most important part of our audience. But we still want it to be enjoyable for the whole family,” he says. “Just keeping in everyone in mind was something more intentional with this album.”
The core narrative of the glossy, steam punk Victorian looking album The Superstar Sibling Detective Agency is in fact inspired by two Swinging super fans, the trio shares.
“There are two children who come to our show and have been coming since the beginning, Sasha and Daisy,” explains Power. “They’re brother and sister. We kind of got this idea for the song and their names just came up. They seemed the perfect fit, and they’re sweet and we knew them from before. The song kind of happened around those two kids.”
When you’re as talented a group as Power, Winter and Andrews – multi-award winning artists who just so happen to be some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet – finding first-rate collaborators isn’t necessarily a challenge. The likes of The Once, Patrick Boyle, Greg Bruce, Curtis Andrews, Kathy Conway Ward and Andrew Cooper have all lent their talents to the album.
And with their profile rising with each year, successful summer tours and delightfully inspired album cycles filled with eye-popping attire, built in colouring sheets and more imagination than Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood, questions come up about the idea of celebrity, the idea of becoming the next Wiggles. It may sound silly and presumptuous, but the trio have all the tools to mesmerize tots from Paris to Texas, London to Istanbul and back.
“We keep every door open,” says Power. “Music, this whole project kind of came about because we spent so much time with children. They are kind of interconnected in a way.”
Keeping that same audience in mind, The Swinging Belles are set to launch The Superstar Sibling Detective Agency on October 13th at The Lantern for a CD Release Extravaganza. Part concert part party, this event will have something for everyone.
Advance tickets are $15 plus taxes and are available at: theswingingbelles.ca