Indie Music, Family Style
My mind works in melodies and music that forms music throughout my waking hours, and when I first started listening to Frances England’s new album “Explorer of the World” I began to remember a song I learned in grade school, which I think is called, “Little By Little You’re There.” The reason I think the song came to me is because I remember always wanting to be one step further, one step closer to something I wanted to attain. The lyrics spoke to me at a young age since I needed to stop and smell the roses. As someone who did not really learn HOW to do that until I had children, it was a nice reminder that I do take things for granted and that it is important to be an ‘explorer of the world’; someone who delights at all the tiny wonders around us. While we do that, each day it adds up until we have hopefully gained some insight and perspective. There is no ‘finish line’ in our life on Earth and when you get to where you are going, you immediately have another hill to climb. I recognize that it is not only okay to accept that, it’s very HEALTHY to know that. Things don’t happen in just one day and Frances England took her time making “Explorer of the World” by taking the time to walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds with her family throughout San Francisco. And this is how “Explorer of the World” was created.
“Little By Little You’re There” (lyrics from my memory!)
Inch by inch, day by day
Step by step, all the way
Piece by piece, bit by bit
Little by little you’re there!
If you can’t climb a mountain then climb a hill
That’s much better than standing still
There’s a way if you’ve got the will
And little by little you’re there!
If you can’t swim an ocean then ford a stream
Just remodel your basic scheme.
Don’t give up till you reach your dream
And little by little you’re there!
Good things that are here to stay
Don’t get done in just one day.
Once you start you’re on your way,
So keep on going.
Frances is a southern-indie folk song-writer (now a San Francisco transplant) who got into making CDs for her son’s preschool fundraiser. She did not seek out stardom, but people sought out her when her music was plastered online (ahhh, those interwebs). Amazingly, her star power has led her to working with some of the best musicians (children’s or otherwise) out there but she has stayed true to her folk and indie sound that is geared toward families. The mom of two sons credits her children for her material on her first two albums, “Fascinating Creatures” and “Family Tree”. Her last endeavor was the adorable album “Blink of an Eye” and featured so many guest musicians I will just have to list them off; Elizabeth Mitchell, Molly Ledford (Lunch Money), Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellow) and Chris Ballew (Caspar Babypants). Wow!
In “Explorer of the World”, the ‘world’ is San Francisco and you can literally picture Frances with her family in tow exploring the streets and coming up with lyrics. Frances asked her friends GRAMMY award-winner Dean Jones (Dog on Fleas) and composer Dave Winer (Justin Roberts’s Not Read For Naptime band) to help her co-produce this album. The album is made up of playful tracks and everyday treasures around us. The music is an eclectic mix of sounds just like the city of San Fran, from folk/hip hop to funky horn arrangements, England’s songs are full of life in a very colorful city. If you don’t stop to smell the roses, you miss a lot of the good things in life and “Explorer of the World” is a beautiful reminder that unexpected adventures can curiously lead us to places we never thought possible. The album ends with the love song, “Little By Little” which completes my first thought when I started writing this review. Little by little certainly turns into A LOT over time. Kudos on a fantastic album, Frances!
- Explorer of the World
- City Don’t Sleep
- See What We Can See
- My Street
- All The Things I Found
- Street Life
- Closer to You
- Ballad for a Beatboxer
- City of Hills
- Little By Little
Anyone else ready to go explore?! Me too!
List Price: $ 12.97 (CD)