Teeny Tiny Stevies Are Teaching The Next Generation About Environmental Issues With The Power Of Song

Teeny Tiny Stevies

Byll Stephen – one half of beloved children's music sibling duo Teeny Tiny Stevies – has become somewhat of a rockstar of school pick-up.

Speaking on a sunny afternoon, she happily chats away about how supportive the other parents at her kid's school have been of the band. "I always make it so awkward," she laughs. "Imagine if I was actually famous!

"I only ever get very lovely interactions with fans and other parents, but I'm always the kind of person who wants to make it such a good experience for them that they end up wanting to get away from me!"

A half-hour on the blower with Stephen flies by, however, ultimately disproving her point entirely. She's here to talk shop on 'The Green Album' – not a faithful recreation of Weezer's criminally underrated third album, but rather Teeny Tiny Stevies' fifth studio effort.

As its title suggests, Byll and her sister Beth are focusing on explaining issues like climate change and the environment to a younger audience. In doing so, Stephen reveals she ended up learning just as much as the kids.

"I've grown up with the term 'fossil fuel' being part of my life, but it was only in doing research for this album that I was able to confidently explain what one actually was," she says. "Sometimes, these concepts are ones I've had to relearn as an adult.

"I'm sure I was told growing up about how energy is gathered to create electricity, but I'd bloody forgotten at some point along the way! There's only so much information that can stay in your head, and making these albums is a real process of discovery. You're taking big ideas and breaking it down for someone who's just woken up to these ideas."

Byll notes that even if using simple language in her lyrics, the songs being "poetic and beautiful" with their choice of words is something that has become extremely important to her.

After five albums and nearly a decade of she and her sister turning this one time side-project for their 'adult' band, The Little Stevies, Stephen has a firm grasp on the responsibility the siblings share as both parents and musicians.

"I tend to obsess over lyrics way more if they're going to be heard by kids rather than by adults," she says. "I know that children's music is judged so much more harshly, and we really want what we do to stand out."

That's why, as Stephen points out, 'The Green Album' is home to a wide variety of musical styles – not only as an ode to their own versatile tastes, but celebrating the freedom that can come with music at that age. "We can do anything we want," she says.

"When we were The Little Stevies, and we'd play these folk festivals, people really expected us to stay in our lane. With Teeny Tiny, it's been amazing to be as different as possible.

"A great hook is a great hook, no matter what the genre. Being able to get out there and see what weird and out-there stuff we can do is one of the great little secrets of making kids' music."

The Stephen siblings will soon embark on an Australian tour – a term that is rarely meant as literally as it is in this instance. As Stephen rattles off the names of every stop of the tour off her computer screen, she seems to talk for nearly a minute straight without taking a breath.

Needless to say, it's a doozy of a run. "I love getting out on tours like these," says Stephen. "It's a good balance; during the week, I'm at home on my laptop. On the weekend, you get a complete change of scenery. It's honestly almost like a holiday at this point!"

Teeny Tiny Stevies 2024 Tour Dates

Fri 7 Jun - Byron Bay Theatre
Sat 8 Jun - Miami Marketta (Gold Coast)
Sun 9 Jun - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Sat 6 Jul - Central Coast Leagues Club
Sun 7 Jul - Bellingen Memorial Hall (Mid North Coast)
Mon 8 Jul - Lizotte's (Newcastle)
Wed 10 Jul - Sydney Spiegeltent* two shows
Thu 11 Jul - The Music Lounge (Wollongong)
Thu 18 Jul - Palais Theatre (Franklin, TAS)
Fri 19 Jul - Hellenic Hall (Hobart)
Sat 20 Jul - Tram Sheds (Launceston)
Sun 21 Jul - Gnomon Room (Ulverstone, TAS)
Sat 3 Aug - Canberra Theatre
Sun 4 Aug - Milton Theatre (South Coast)
Sat 10 Aug - Trinity Sessions (Adelaide)
Sat 24 Aug - Live at the Bundy (Gippsland)
Sat 7 Sep - The Memo (Healesville)
Sun 8 Sep - Mechanics (Ballarat)
Sat 21 Sep - Wonder Children's Festival @ Geelong Arts Centre
Sun 22 Sep - Northcote Theatre (Melbourne)
Fri 4 Oct - Berninneit (Cowes, VIC)
Fri 11 Oct - Albury Entertainment Centre
Sat 12 Oct - Yackandandah Public Hall
Sun 13 Oct - Bright Courthouse

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