Supercharged with the success of their critically praised debut album, Run Free, independent family music band Animal Farm is ready to take center stage on the national kids’ music scene with album number two, We Are One, set for release on August 24, 2018.
The message of Animal Farm is all about bringing people together through — like Aesop’s Fables — the use of animal characters. Whether it’s something humorous like a baby bat who is afraid of the dark or something more serious like a monkey witnessing deforestation, these songs talk about our shared humanity.
Heading up Animal Farm are musician-educators David Ladon and Seth Adams, who met in 2008 while honing their skills as part of Boston’s indie music scene. Driven by a desire to write thoughtful, interesting music for families to enjoy together, they pooled their songwriting and performing talents and began the Animal Farm project in the winter of 2010.
Notes Seth Adams, “What has kept this project going for more than seven years across two cities is that David and I aren’t just creative and business partners, we’re best friends who value community, harmony, and the natural world.”
Guided by famed producer Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case), We Are One draws from a range of influences including rock, jazz, folk, Klezmer, Afro-pop, Latin, and Tin Pan Alley, to explore themes of social/emotional learning, self-expression, relationships, and community.
The songs are layered, both musically and lyrically, so that younger listeners can sing along to accessible melodies like the chorus of “Awesome Possum” or shout animal noises in “Cranky Pants,” while their older siblings can pick up on the complex ideas and sophisticated wordplay embedded in the material.
These We Are One innovations are illustrated in the first track, “Snow Bird,” which employs elegant Afro-pop sounds to tell the story of a penguin “with a yearnin’ to roam” to warm destinations like Bali, Morocco, Rio de Janeiro, and Boca Raton. Next up is the ’90s rock-influenced “Awesome Possum,” the tale of a young critter who saves his family from a menacing wolf by spontaneously breaking into dance. “Slow Down (Snail Song)” is a bit of gastropodic advice to all the fast-paced humans out there: “How can anyone notice this beautiful world if they won’t just slow down?”
Other highlights include “Cranky Pants,” a salsa-driven tune that advocates channeling any miscellaneous cranky feelings into animal noises. In “It Could Always Be Worse!,” a trio of animals gives a fresh perspective on the art of dealing with trouble and manages to stop the show with their raucous, Tin Pan Alley style, while “Paws and Think” unfolds as an epic two-part rock song with great dance energy, addressing the inevitablity of conflicts and offering suggestions on how to repair relationships. The title track of We Are One recapitulates the album’s core values: community, harmony, honesty, and self-expression, culminating in an anthem joyfully sung by a crowd of friends from near and far.
David Ladon is a bassist, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist, audio documentarian, and educator. In addition to his work with Animal Farm, David performs bass and vocals with the bands Catfish and the Dogstars, Glad Rags, and numerous Chicago-based singer-songwriters. As a teaching artist, David has worked with the Hyde Park Art Center, Oak Park Education Foundation, Ravinia Festival, Columbia College Center for Community Arts Partnerships, University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, and Oak Park School of Rock.
For nearly 15 years, Seth Adams has worked as a music educator and professional musician. From 2005 – 2012, Seth taught school band while also performing over 100 shows annually with the Boston-based band Groove Authority. In 2012, Seth moved to Chicago and joined the equally busy band Spoken Four, with whom he has performed nationally and internationally. From 2012 – 2016, Seth was a music teacher, music arranger, and assessment coordinator for Sistema, the Ravinia Festival’s after-school orchestra program that works with children in underserved communities. In 2016, Seth became the Director of Bands for UIC College Preparatory High School, where he is responsible for more than 250 students who play in eight different ensembles.
David Ladon and Seth Adams are joined on We Are One and onstage at Animal Farm shows by violinist and singer Stephanie “Sly” Young and Thor Bremer, who sings and handles the drumming as well as all manner of percussion instruments. The quartet is an official touring artist for Urban Gateways, the premier community arts programming organization for youth in Chicago, and is recipient of the 2018 Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Individual Artist Program Grant.
We Are One will be available at iTunes, CDBaby, Bandcamp, and other major outlets.
Album Details: We Are One
Label: Bespectacled Records
Release Date: August 24, 2018
For all ages, and especially appropriate for ages 3 – 9
SRP: $15 CD. $12 digital download
Run Time: 54 minutes
For more information about Animal Farm, to request a We Are One CD, or to schedule an interview, please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at Waldmania PR: 415-334-2787 or email@example.com.