Cookie Magazine Feature If some genius concert promoter ever puts together a Lilith Fair for 5 year olds, Frances England should be the headline act. The singer-songwriter brings a little bit of Sarah McLachlan and a little bit of Norah Jones, yet manages to create a sound that is distinctly her own….And while the songs may be about tricycles and picture books, England’s airy voice and sophisticated songwriting have definite adult appeal.
Real Simple Magazine "England has a truly original sound, marrying lo-fi indie rock with simple lyrics that speak to both preschoolers and young grade-schoolers."
Kids and Family Music Awards The secret is out. Frances England’s Fascinating Creatures has been garnering accolades and glowing reviews in 2006 from all kinds of places and all of it is well deserved. It's one of the best examples of an indie-rock children’s record that is out right now
Los Angeles Times - Each song is a little treasure of creativity, artistry and heart.
Parenting Magazine An outstanding indie album. Family Tree was featured as a favorite CD in the May 2008 issue
School Library Journal This beautiful collection of 13 original songs
by talented singer/songwriter Frances England deserves a place in every
collection. Calling to mind such performers as Sarah McLachlan, Ani DeFranco,
and Neko Case, England is the indie/alt rocker for the preschool set.
While the songs’ lyrics address subjects that toddlers can relate
to, they also draw on experiences and moments that every mother will recognize.
A must for every collection.
7 x 7 Magazine - Queen of indie-folk children's music... (Frances') lyrics may be relevant to the Dr. Seuss crowd, her feather-light soulfulness has prompted comparisons to Sarah McLachlan.
Zooglobble (regularly featured on NPR's Weekend Edition): Fascinating Creatures is one of the most adventurous children's music albums in some time, quite unlike anything out there at the moment... (Fascinating Creatures) is the start of something big, like a little secret known to only a few.
Zooglobble - (Family Tree is) a melding of folk and lo-fi indie pop originals that stands out from most of the kids music world in its sound and centeredness, for lack of a better word. England's disks have a way of conjuring musical worlds that start with the security of home life and look outward, all the while sounding like Yo La Tengo or Elizabeth Mitchell or Tanya Donnelly... this is fabulous. Definitely Recommended.
Baltimore's Child I can't remember the last time I had such a physical reaction listening to a CD as I had when listening to Frances England's Family Tree. My entire body relaxed and I felt a true sense of calm wash over me. The songs on Family Tree will warm you like a cup of tea on a cold day and you won't be able to resist the lure of England's compelling voice and the wonderful layering of acoustic guitar, banjo, drums, and horns.
Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child - Fascinating Creatures strikes exactly the right balance between having buckets of appeal for kids and being a delight for grownups... it's one of my favorit cds of any genre.
Kids Music That Rocks Frances England has created a powerfully simple, simply powerful collection of songs for her debut album, Fascinating Creatures. If Daniel Lanois produced Sam Phillips, the result might sound a little like Fascinating Creatures, but to be honest this CD is so wonderfully unique, it’s hard to properly describe….This is a truly indie-rock kids’ album and a afantastic one at that.
Kids Music That Rocks - Family Tree "quietly destroys the competition", or "raises the bar to an almost impossible height". It's that good.
The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What to Think Every once in a while, I come upon a new children's music artist that really gets me excited. I want to get copies of the CD for all my mom friends, tell everyone I know how amazing it is, and play it in the car with the windows down so everyone can hear what great music I play for my kids. Frances England is one of these arists who makes me want to stop other parents on the street and say, "You've got to hear this!"
Cool Tunes for Kids These songs.. are a perfect example of what Leonard Bernstein once described as the definition of great art - "fresh, but inevitable" ... they have that same kind of simple yet elegant brilliance and they become timeless the first time you hear them.
Hear It, Love It, Share It - Frances' music takes you to a simpler place in the world, where really all that matters are the children she's singing to. Our children. "Family Tree" is the sun that warms the perfect summer day: an open meadow with green grass and beautiful flowers, lined with big trees where you set up the picnic blanket (half in the shade, and half in the sun) and watch your kids experience the joy this life is meant to be. This album is the kind you listen to on a long road trip as you look out the window and wonder what goes on in those farms you're passing along that rural interstate road. Basically, this album gives me hope.
Hilltown Family Variety Show - CROSS-OVER APPEAL! Frances England never intended to be an award-winning indie-pop star with an international listening audience, but her dharma has snuck up and bit her on the tushie! Her new CD has fast become one of our favorites; issued a "Repeat-Button Award" by our five year old backseat reviewer, Persephone.
Out with the Kids - After just one listen the simple, beautiful melodies had managed to sink their hooks into me... this collection of sixteen original kiddie songs is one terrific record... the songs are simple, catchy and built around England's irresistible voice.
Parent Map Bright - laid-back baby music that's fresh and singable. England sounds like Edie Brickell's upbeat little sister; some of these songs are sure to become favorite bedtime baby love songs. Check out the deeply sweet "You and Me."
Midwest Book Review - "Family Tree" is a compilation of sixteen lively songs with a kind of independent folk music flair. Superbly produced and recorded, Frances England's vocals perfectly blend her engaging lyrics with melodies and rhythms sure to delight young listeners everywhere. These are perfectly crafted songs.
Kenosha News - By far, the most crowded indie genre these days has to be children's music. Whereas most releases trend toward the mediocre, there occasionally are beautiful exceptions to the rule. Such is the case with Frances England's "Family Tree." While most of these tunes are presented as folk songs, underneath they reveal the skills of a substantial pop songwriter.
Little Rock Family - Family Tree is going to be a top-of-the-list record too - no sophomore slump at all. The music is probably best described as indie folk, with the focus on Frances's gentle, playful, and expressive voice.
Minnesota Parent - I don't think I'll hear a better record (Family Tree) this year.
CD Insight Frances England, a 2007 Oppenheim Award winner, offers up more than just your average tunes for toddlers. Her songs are smart, witty and imaginative, and possess a steady flow of dauntless energy perversely hooking listeners from track to track.
Cool Mom Picks A mom herself, England has put together a collection of songs that are lyrically and musically appropriate for kids, but with enough of an edge that they could pass for grown-up music, along the lines of Liz Phair or Cat Power. Get your own copy of Fascinating Creatures soon.., so that in a year or two, when Frances England is a Big Deal in the world of children's music (as I believe she will be), you can say, "Oh, yeah, we've been listening to Frances forever.
Luna Kafe World Music Didn't they use Raffi's music to try to flush out General Noriega? If they played this stuff for Noriega, he'd still be sitting at his kitchen table. Eating blueberry pancakes.
((sm))all ages (Fascinating Creatures) is sweet and a little sassy and purty and smart... I recommend this one to you as a cool down, back porch, rainy day kind of CD.