Maya Bond

Tired of chirpy kids' music that sounds like it was composed by Christian youth group leaders on four hits of ecstasy? Here's the antidote.

I first heard Maya Bond on KTRU's Kids Show while driving around with my eight-year-old son earlier this summer, and they had us running from the car to the house when we got home so we would find out who she was. Later, when I got a copy of her Pink Drums, Purple Lights, each playing of the CD would draw a crowd of happy workmates to my office.

Bond, who was four years old when this album was made early this year, is a bilingual Japanese-American from Austin and Osaka. Her father owns a recording studio, and she informed her dad that she wanted to make a CD of her own.

And her own it is. Bond wrote all of the lyrics, on which she showcases the wondrous mind of a four-year-old -- one that is by turns affectingly loving, mildly scatological and delightfully morbid. "Cute Papa" is about Dad, while ghosts, teddy bears and pee-pee and poo-poo come in for mentions on "Ghost Waltz." There are also a few tunes that wouldn't be amiss on a Shonen Knife record, but the real hit here is "The Ghost Castle," in which a Vincent Price-style organ provides the backdrop as Bond superdramatically relates the improvised tale of a disobedient little girl who enters a haunted fortress against her father's wishes. Inside, an unspecified "beast" and "125 + 3 wolves" await, though whether she means 128 wolves or 125 Dungeons & Dragons-style +3 wolves is unclear.

Bond's singing is an absolute delight -- off-key, but with a real feel for music nonetheless. If you liked the Langley Schools Music Project, or wish that David Lynch had made a children's music record, pick this one up at once.

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