May 3, 2016

LP: The Original Crooks and Nannies - Ugly Laugh

The Original Crooks and Nannies remind us to have fun while we're still young.

The Original Crooks and Nannies are an indie pop duo who are kicking the crap out of a drum machine and reminding us that it’s important to set aside some time in your day just for being silly. With their second full-length LP, Ugly Laugh, Madeline Rafter and Sam Huntington are celebrating their ugly sides, and singing / screaming their insecurities for all to hear. In doing so, they’re facilitating a sound that has the ability to make us feel proud of our own faults as well. This rings particularly true on the song “Dates,” which plays with the words “I HATE DATES,” sometimes referring to the disappointing fruit, sometimes referring to the (often also disappointing) courting ritual. This just illustrates how TOCAN pokes fun at adult behaviors by denouncing them, atop of thick bass and electric guitar, with whimsical drum beats to hold it all together. 
Ugly Laugh is ten songs of true, unabashed excitement.

The single, “Carry Me,” has an accompanying video which features Rafter and Huntington both in white T-shirts, red lipstick, jeans and white Converse, getting their heads shaved side by side. They then proceed to make hats out of duct tape and stick their chopped-off locks onto the outside of the tape. They then wear these crude wigs while they play and dance wildly. “Carry Me,” and all of Ugly Laugh, is a testament to not giving a shit, the way that we used to when we were kids, before puberty smoothed us out with social norms. One of the last songs on the album is “Crying At The Dog Park,” which shows the flip side to feeling young and full of emotion. The highs are high, but the lows are the lowest, and you wonder if you’ll ever recover. The words, “I am stuck in traffic waiting for the light to change. Crying at the dog park, like will I always feel this way...And you are getting older while I am stuck in quiet rage, but I will keep your picture so you will always look the same,” illustrate the feelings of adolescent heartbreak when you are so sure you have felt depths of despair that no one else could possibly understand. Despite the highs and lows, TOCAN keeps their wits about themselves and Ugly Laugh shows a sense of cheeky originality, with young, yet wise, insights. This album would be best listened to while riding a bike and screaming along, without a care for neighborhood children pointing and giggling from a nearby park. You’ve gone your whole life learning how to have a good time in your own special way, and if The Original Crooks and Nannies can help at all, well then, children be damned.


Listen to The Original Crooks and Nannies on bandcamp.

Leann Bescript, a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase, full-time nanny and freelance journalist. Generally, she is regarded as the all-knowing 5-second-rule referee in the workplace, or anywhere else that anyone might've accidentally dropped food and needed moral support to eat it anyway.