Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s Latest is Kids’ Music For All

by Kimberley McGee
Koo Koo Kanga Roo have a new album May 2021
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I was able to get a minute with half of the duo of Koo Koo Kanga Roo to talk about their latest album, “Slow Clap.” They spent their time away from touring with Yo Gabba Gabba, The Aquabats, and Frank Turner (a few of our favorites!) to collaborate with other brilliant minds to create this album of eleven meticulously crafted songs, each meant to be sung at the top of your lungs.
Um, mind the puns, but we’re thrilled that Koo Koo Kanga Roo is bouncing back from a long year with a new album! Bryan and Neil didn’t get boxed in during the worldwide pandemic! They punched through with a new album and a bunch of big names to collaborate on their new album, “Slow Clap!” He also gives advice for kids who may be feeling nervous about getting back out there after a long year! Stay tuned for a giveaway and local concert announcement for this summer!
For Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s latest album, they joined with legendary Minneapolis producer Lazerbeak (Lizzo, Doomtree, Trampled By Turtles). He brought his signature blend of hip-hop nostalgia, pulsing bass, and monstrous drums to provide the backdrop for Bryan and Neil’s rapid-paced rhymes and catchy hooks.  The result? “Slow Clap” is filled with bombastic beats that break the rules of what a “kids band” can sound like.

Let’s break it down. Here’s why we like these guys: “200 Worms” name-checks the actual worms that live in Bryan’s backyard compost bin. My mini-golf twins dig the breakneck speed of “Putt Putt Butt Butt” and fall all over the honey anthem “Sticky Icky.” Are you a new mama or got a lot of littles? Put this track on speed play in the morning and you’ll kick butt all day, seriously. It sticks, in a good way. 

What is this latest album all about?

Bryan: Fun! Lots of big beats, catchy hooks and goofy humor. It was the first time, in a long time, that we made a non-concept record. It was freeing and difficult to make every song individual instead of fitting in a big narrative like our past albums.
The bandmates met with other big kid faves for this latest album. Murs pops up on the summer anthem “Ice Cold Lemonade,” Doomtree’s Sims tags in for the slip-n-slide ode “Backyard Swimsuit,” and Mega Ran tiptoes through a show-stealing verse on “Sneakin’ Downstairs” If it sounds like everyone is having a total blast, it’s because they are.

What is your fave track?

Bryan: I truly like them all for lots of different reasons, but I like “Lazy Life” because it’s so different for us. It’s big, but yet a slow jam. It’s twisting our mantra of movement in a different way and it still works.

What has inspired you lately in your music?

Bryan: Anything that is less polished. I’ve been listening to a lot of bluegrass and I crave the little imperfections that get left in. It makes me feel more present with the band. (OK, Love this! One of the reasons my son likes Koo Koo Kanga Roo, too.)

How did you spend your time in quarantine?

Bryan: Mainly in my house. It was the best of times and the darkest of times all in one. I hung out with my 3-year-old full time, we had a baby, I yelled at my phone a lot. Neil and I saw our industry disappear and so we reinvented some stuff and made a new album and a ton of videos.

What did you learn, or were there any surprises during that downtime?

Bryan: It was the first time in 15 years that I had been in one place for that long. I learned that I like being home and that I really miss touring all at the same time. Lots of dualities.

Any advice for kids who may be feeling anxious getting back out in the world, or just had a hard year?

Bryan: Oh boy. Trust your gut, go slow. Don’t let anyone push you into anything you don’t want to, they are probably just masking their own fear. And to give yourself a break. It was really difficult.


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