Friday, March 24, 2017

Chibi Kodama: The Kids Are All Rock

Chibi Kodama is all about girl power. The band practically overdoses on pre-teen estrogen, despite the best efforts of titular head of the family John Cullimore. Long story short, he and his kids bonded over some age-friendly Weezer songs. And happily ever after, they've been producing Powderpuff Girlz power pop.

The Cullimore Family (John, wife Yvonne, and five daughters) have made music in this fashion since 2013. Their new CD, BETWEEN MAIN STREET AND NEVERLAND, smashes the line between listening to your parents and listening with your parents. The songs, including "Believe," "All That," and "Face and Fade" deal with the intra-personal dynamics of family and friendship, childhood fears, growing up, and why it's alright to just be yourself.

As the Cullimore clan expanded, the brood relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee. The girls are now facing a whole new series of challenges, which may seem pedestrian to typical listeners. Going from home-schooled to public school home rooms is indeed a new experience. The empowerment lyrics in "Me" serve as a mantra for anyone who steps foot into the social minefield of elementary and middle school for the first time:

I am not the sum of my mistakes
I am who I choose to make myself today
And I choose to see the world this way
Fresh and new with every step
Live this moment with forgiveness on your breath

Ben asked me "Where do I file Chibi Kodama?" and I had to explain that the band is a concept – there is no actual Chibi. It's akin to asking "Which one's Pink?" for the band Pink Floyd. BETWEEN MAIN STREET AND NEVERLAND (with guest producers including Jason Didner, Lucy Kalantari, and Heather Rosenberg Hirshfield among others) is uncommon rock for kids. That's not bad, it's different, and that difference makes Chibi Kodama kinda unique for the genre.

BETWEEN MAIN STREET AND NEVERLAND is available April 1 from Chibi Kodama's Bandcamp page, Amazon, and iTunes.

Here is the video for the album's title track:

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