Through the 15 songs on their debut album You Are Magic, the duo of July Mees (9) and her dad Jared Mees explore both the silly and sensitive sides of childhood through 15 lighthearted, upbeat and layered songs.
Triple Rainbow (named after the inspired quote by Paul Vasquez) has an unique musical heritage and history. Jared, along with his wife Brianne, is the co- founder of Tender Loving Empire-- the beloved Portland, Oregon based record label and handmade retail store chain. Besides having 6 stores in Portland that sell the work of over 800 artists, TLE has released hundreds of records over the last 15 years including 5 of Jared’s with Jared Mees & The Grown Children. But their story goes even further back “My brother played drums for our punk band in high school, Brianne and I were in a band in college called Julai (which we named after the kid we thought we might one day have) and Brianne’s dad Bill, an old time rocker with Motley Crue ties played drums with me for years and recorded a couple of my records. The family band has always been a dream. Its just a lot of fun to play music with family. I’m excited for Piper (4) to get in on the action here soon too!”
To that end, Jared and July have been making music together since July was able to talk “We sing songs all the time, at bedtime, in the car, before dinner. Sometimes they’re short silly songs that we just sing once then forget about, and other times we find a song we just can’t stop singing day after day” says July. The songs on You’re Magic are the songs Jared and July just couldn’t stop singing.
Lyrically, You Are Magic explores both the lighthearted yet layered world of a child’s heart and imagination, combining clever rhyming lyrics, storytelling and lots of descriptive concrete imagery. Triple Rainbow has lots of fun on the ode to naughty cats “Bad Kitty,” the gooey yet epic opus “Slime,” the can’t-stop-won’t-stop energy of “Dance Party” and the wild road-trip story “The Lake”.
And yet Triple Rainbow isn’t afraid to dig deeper into issues not normally explored in kids music. The title track is a sing along anthem about the power of your imagination: “You are magic and you can be whatever you want to be / you’re magic and your brain’s much better than an ipad or a TV / so just close your eyes / feel it growing inside… you’re magic” The earnest yet silly singalong “Exactly Perfect” encourages us to be confident and happy with our bodies, even when we feel strange or different. The driving and danceable “Facts” explores the complex nature of truth and knowledge from a kids perspective. The rock and roll barn burner “Fam Jam” widens the circle of who we can think about as our family, “Under the Water” takes a groovy acoustic adventure with a mermaid and the importance of preserving our oceans. “Beautiful All” is a sweet and simple harmonic laden lullaby that paints a simple picture of all phases and stages of life as equally beautiful.
Sonically, Triple Rainbow keeps one foot planted in acoustic folk and the other in driving pop-rock. “We wanted to make a record that kids would love and that their parents would not only tolerate, but look forward to putting on” says Jared. I grew up listening to Harry Nillson’s The Point and have sang all those songs to July and Piper at bedtime for years. I really wanted to make an album like that - something the whole family could agree on that was fun and catchy but also looked a bit deeper into into issues that modern kids face”
You Are Magic comes out January 21st on Brave New People - Tender Loving Empire’s sister label - focusing on family music and childrens clothing.
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