Indie rock: “Here is the church / and here is the steeple. We sure are cute for two ugly people.” Bite into Kimya Dawson and the Moldy Peaches, an anti-folk band popularised by ‘Juno’.
“Here is the church / and here is the steeple. We sure are cute for two ugly people. I don’t see what anybody can see in anyone else but you.”
Anyone Else But You – The Moldy Peaches
Anti-folk singer and songwriter Kimya Dawson met fellow musician Adam Green in 1995 while working at a local record store in Mount Kisco, New York. Kimya and Green became close friends – and morphed into a low-fi indie rock band called the Moldy Peaches. Their sound was first enjoyed by diehard indie-rock and indie-grunge crossover fans of groups like the Pixies and Sonic Youth but has since had a resurgence of popularity since being featured in the film ‘Juno’.
Although the Moldy Peaches started small, the band expanded to include drummer Strictly Beats, bassist Steve Mertens, and guitarists Jack Dishel and Toby Goodshank. The band has now released six CDs – one for each member of the band, you might say. It wasn’t until Academy-Award winning movie, Juno, that their band has gained contemporary renown.
The Moldy Peaches are known for their anti-folk type material. They’re often referred to by the music press as playfully juvenile, unpretentious and what lovers of the high-brow awesomness of Sonic Youth and Pavement might choose to listen to on their days off.
But what is anti-folk? Well, it started sometime during the late 1960s, straddling folk music and punk. In the hands of the Moldy Peaches, the raw quality of anti-folk is experimented upon with the addition of Dawson’s almost child-like voice. Moldy Peachs lyrics describe adolescence, ranging from Rainbows and I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac, to Shame and What Went Wrong. Their delivery is intentionally goofy and childlike – sometimes you can even hear them trying not to giggle at their own lyrics in the recording studio.
During her work with the Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson branched off and started working solo. By September 2008, Kimya had released six of her own albums – such a profilic musician!
In interview, Kimya Dawson describes her song writing process with refreshing candour:
“I used to be able to write songs anywhere, but now that I’m a mom, I have to be more focused on the baby. What tends to happen to me now is that I get somebody else’s song stuck in my head and in some sort of ADD way, I make up my own lyrics. I’ll be walking around and I think in my head, ‘DahDahDahDahDahDahDahDahDah.’ I just won’t remember the words. Eventually it morphs into my own lyrical being.”
As she mentions, Kimya is not only a lifetime musician but now also the proud mother of a daughter, Panda Delilah. She gave birth to her on July 28 2006, with husband Angelo Spencer.
While you head off to explore the sounds of the Moldy Peaches, consider this… why doesn’t the Chinese animal zodiac include the Year of the Panda? If it did, it would surely fall on 2006…