“Poppy Seeds” The Corner Laughers
The Corner Laughers is a Bay Area indie pop group that in its third CD “Poppy Seeds” has created a set of sweet and sunny anthems to the Golden State. The 12 tracks vary from sugary to retro pop — but are always typified by smart lyrics, hook-y melodies, excellent musicianship, and super-clean production. Plenty of SF references from Buster Posey and Mt. Tamalpais to the Transamerica Pyramid. If indie pop appeals to your musical tastes in any way, you’ll definitely find songs here to your liking.
Recommended: 6, 9, 12, 2, or 7. FCC clean.
1. (3:08) Grasshopper Clock — Sweet and lighthearted. Perfect for a clever children’s song on Sesame Street.
2. (2:30) Bells of El Camino — 1960s pop feel with rich harmonies and a strong bass line that drives the tune. Short. ***
3. (2:28) Sugar Skull — The start of this reminds me of the Gilligan’s Island TV theme. Corner Laughers — Are you hearing that too?
4. (3:25) Laughing Stars — Reminiscent of a girl group pop hit from yester-year. Perfect for Mr. Esquire. Jangly guitars add dimension to the tune.
5. (2:16) Twice the Luck — Really good showcase for lead singer Karla Kane’s ukulele virtuosity. Chirpy and playful with sweet harmonies.
6. (3:21) Transamerica Pyramid — Excellent pop — clever lyrics and well-constructed composition. Morphs into a Beach Boys tribute halfway through. ****
7. (2:26) (Now That I Have You I’m) Bored — Faster and more rock elements to this song. **
8. (3:16) 8:18 — Western touches on this one. Lead vocals alternate between the boys and girls.
9. (3:32) Chicken Bingo — Pure pop goodness. Multilayered, dynamic tune highlighting the Corner Laughers’ trademark strengths: clever lyrics, strong musical performances, catchy melodies, and rich harmonies. ***
10. (3:04) I’d Rather Count Cormorants With You — Opens like an old Johnny Rivers tune. Another track with alternating male and female vocals.
11. (1:18) Poppy Seeds (Instrumental) — Toy box sounds (and ukulele?). Very short.
12. (4:04) The Perfect Weather — SF-flavored love song. Warm vocals by Karla Kane. Pays homage to 60s groups like the Rascals. Is that an accordion in the lead break? ***