One of the benefits of playing kid’s music is the ability to be unabashedly silly and imaginative without limitations. The challenge, of course, is to be equally appealing to parents who may have reached their fill of ballads sung by large purple dinosaurs or cartoon characters.
“The Thinkers”—a new band formed by Larchmont native Matt Saporito, 25, and his best friend Bo Moore, 26—plays songs with kid-centered themes like “Mushy Berry Pie” and “Back to School,” while still sounding like that cool, indie band that hasn’t yet been signed to a major label.
Saporito and Moore met at Fairfield University in Connecticut, but it wasn’t until they graduated that the idea of forming a band came about.
“We decided we wanted to take a break from rock and roll,” explained Saporito, who said the duo’s interests were soon pulled into an opposite direction after they started making “wacky songs.”
Both Saporito—who comes from a big family with seven siblings—and Moore—who works with special needs kids in the Boston school system—had spent enough time around the younger set to know what kinds of music would get them moving.
After a few songs were written, an “aha moment” occurred and they thought,” We could totally make this into a kid’s album,” said Saporito.
Saporito, who left his job managing a lululemon athletica store to hit the road on tour, was sincere about his efforts to make his album successful.
“We want to make the best pop music we could make,” he said.
Influenced by ‘60’s bands like the Kinks and Beatles, as well as The Strokes and Roy Orbison, both Saporito and Moore wanted to create songs that would bridge the generational gap while still remaining youthful sounding.
“Most of the kid’s music is made by older teachers,” said Saporito, continuing,” We want to make kids’s music that’s fun for parents to enjoy.”
The band plans to play mostly songs from their new album “Oh, Zoooty!” while on tour, with a few Beatles covers thrown in for good measure. Currently, “The Thinkers” are selling copies of their album online for $12.
So far, the feedback has been promising. According to Saporito, a friend’s toddler commented, after listening to a song, "The man's voice sounds so silly sometimes, like he is googling water and a bird."
Inspired by the Brooklyn-based Mitch Meseke, the cover artist whose richly detailed and ingenious drawings of seafaring creatures and ghosts emerging from boat horns decorate their CD cover, the band plans to put together a 26-page hardcover book of drawings that will be a visual accompaniment to the CD or cassette insert of their music.
“You want to get lost in the drawing for a little while,” said Saporito.
The Thinkers are currently touring children’s hospitals, museums and bookstores. They will appear at in Larchmont on Thursday, June 30 at 2 p.m. Their album can be purchased by visiting their website here.