Over the last four years Claire Ness has been pulling inspiration from her childhood memories and her time as a mother to create her new album, Broccoli Farm.
“I am really excited to get this one out there,” said Ness, “It is a collection of original kid’s songs that I have been working on for the past four years. There is one song on the album that I wrote before having a baby, and that is ‘Under Duck’ which I wrote with Dave Sutton back when we were playing together and I had just started playing shows for kids. But the rest of the songs I wrote in the past four years, since having (my son), August.”
Ness shared some of the inspiration that went into crafting the songs.
For the track ‘Arms Out,’ Ness went back to memories from childhood. “I grew up on the Hot Springs Road and I remember when they first opened Takhini Gas. We were so excited that there would finally be a place to buy candy that was closer than the Hotsprings. We used to bike down to the corner trying to ride with no hands the whole way. And I’ve always loved climbing trees and riding right up at the bow of the boat so it feels like you’re flying over the water. Parents might protest the danger in this song, but those moments of pure freedom were a lot of what made up my memorable childhood.”
The title track, ‘Broccoli Farm’, is inspired by the viral YouTube video called “Max really wants to go to the broccoli farm,” featuring young Max, whose parents had told him they were taking a trip to a broccoli farm so that they could surprise him when he arrived at the circus, with unexpected results.
“The video is hilarious,” said Ness.
The song ‘Candy’ celebrates the trick all parents try to use – spelling out words so their kids can’t understand what they are saying. Ness lets her young listeners in on the secret by letting them know the meanings of C-A-N-D-Y, C-A-K-E, C-O-O-K-I-E, C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E, M-O-V-I-E, and Z-O-O, among others.
Ness wrote ‘Superhero’ with her live shows in mind. “I wrote this song so kids can dress up in superhero costumes at my shows,” she laughed.
Her husband, Pascal, inspired ‘Junkyard.’ Ness explained, “when we travel he always insists on stopping at every Junkyard we pass. Then he disappears into the piles and leaves me waiting in the car, sometimes for a long time. But then I thought, when we knew August was coming along, how it would be a funnier song if it were about a baby.”
August inspired a number of songs, including ‘Beautiful Baby,’ which Ness said, “is about my beautiful baby boy.”
For the time being, the only place you can pick up a copy of Broccoli Farm on Bandcamp , but Ness is looking forwards to the time when she will have CDs, Vinyl, and physical booklets for the digital downloads.
“In a way it has been just fine. It is nice to be able to get something out there for people to enjoy in their homes,” said Ness, “But I am excited to get to a point where I can do a physical release party and get the vinyl, CDs and booklets out there. A big party free for all kids! With clowns and face-painting! I am really excited for parties again.”
The response to the album so far has been great. “HomeRoutes has been having me do online concerts for kids every Saturday morning at 11am, and so I have this built in National audience attached with that,” Ness explained.
“It is a real blessing to have that vessel of output. I don’t feel whole without performing, entertaining or making an ass of myself.”