To say there’s a lot of affable ignorance when it comes to taste in children’s music might be too mild a statement for any serious music critic to make in 2022; in all actuality, classy artists in this genre have become far and few in between, especially on the alternative end of the spectrum. One of the brighter spots I’ve had the great pleasure of coming across in the past year has been The Roughhousers, whose blend of rockabilly and innocent poeticisms has been gaining a lot of praise from the right voices in this business and can be found in their latest single “Baby Brother.”
One of the first things that caught my attention in this track and its companion video was the solid tone in every portion of the master mix. There isn’t one instrumental component failing to hold up its weight on the front or back ends, and I would even go so far as to say that the guitar strings fuse with the piano keys just enough to create a boundless catharsis that lasts for the majority of the song. This is masterful songcraft, but something I’ve been noticing from the likes of The Roughhousers since first getting turned onto their music.
“Baby Brother” sports warm harmonies that, much like the compositional depth I already knew this duo had, are a standard for the act’s output thus far, but they’re not centralized as the primary focus of the track. Contrarily, there’s more to be discovered within the relationship between the rhythm and the melodies than there is anywhere else, which adds to the driving nature of the material and undeniably gets us to focus on the cohesiveness of the performance as a whole (which is not something I normally pick up on in a song of this genre).
One hurdle that The Roughhousers have cleared early on in their campaign is proving their unstoppable charisma and its accessibility to listeners of all ages, and their generally positive, uplifting theme continues quite profoundly in “Baby Brother.” Grey DeLisle has been one of my favorite indie voices for a long time now, and when it comes to her vocal work in this track, I think it stands up to the best of anything she’s done in her career to date. There’s so much to get excited about with The Roughhousers, and I think that your kids are going to agree with me.