Kimya Dawson

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Kimya Dawson
Kimya Dawson HOH Fest 2010cr.JPG
Dawson at the 2010 Harvest of Hope Festival in St. Augustine, Florida
Background information
Birth name Kimya Dawson
Born (1972-11-17) November 17, 1972 (age 45)
Bedford Hills, New York, U.S.
Genres Folk punk
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Labels K Records
Associated acts Moldy Peaches, Aesop Rock, The Uncluded, Antsy Pants

Kimya Dawson (born November 17, 1972) is an American singer-songwriter, best known as a solo performer and as one half of The Moldy Peaches.


Dawson became well known as co-founder of the Moldy Peaches alongside Adam Green.[1] Since the Moldy Peaches went on hiatus in 2004 Dawson has released a string of lo-fi homemade albums and toured widely in North America and Europe.

Dawson's most recent album is "Thunder Thighs", released in October 2011. It contains collaborations with Aesop Rock on songs such as "The Library" and "Walk Like Thunder" and Pablo Das on "Unrefined".[citation needed]

Dawson's children's album, Alphabutt, was released on September 10, 2008. Song titles include "The Alphabutt Song," "Seven Hungry Tigers," "Little Monster Babies," "Wiggle My Tooth" and "Pee Pee in the Potty," and collaborators include former Third Eye Blind guitarist Kevin Cadogan and a number of Dawson's other musical friends and their children. She has also been invited to participate in the Sesame Street television program.[2]

In September 2012, she appeared in a campaign called "30 Songs / 30 Days" to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book.[3]

Soundtrack work

Dawson's songs are featured in the films The Guatemalan Handshake and Glue, both of which were shown at the Olympia Film Festival in November 2007.[4]

In 2008 Dawson contributed the song "Anthrax"—about 9/11—to the soundtrack of the Body of War documentary.[2]

"Anyone Else But You", a song she recorded with The Moldy Peaches, was used in the documentary Murderball, about a team of wheelchair rugby players. This song was also used in the film Juno. The melody of this song, with new lyrics, was used in a commercial for

Critics warmly received the music in Juno, where Dawson's "sweetly melancholic acoustic-strummed tunes" helped define the character of a pregnant young teenager who decides to have her baby.[5] Dawson helped choose many of the songs for the Juno film, helping to set the film's mood.[5] The soundtrack was voted by NPR listeners as the 14th best of the year in a listener poll for 2008.[6] Dawson sings about diverse topics:

And there on the soundtrack ... is Kimya Dawson, her primal, primitive odes to tire swings and vampires and roller coasters goosing us along, her wobbly voice and furtively chicken-scratched double-time guitar like a terrified little kid who just ditched the training wheels and is now somehow barreling down a mountain.

— Rob Harvilla, The Village Voice, 2008[7]

Dawson's authentic persona has a demeanor which is "sheepish and guileless and awkward in a way that you really can't fake" and who sometimes looks "legitimately terrified" during performances, according to Village Voice music critic Rob Harvilla.[7]

Five of Dawson's solo songs, two from Antsy Pants, as well as one from the Moldy Peaches, are included on the Juno soundtrack, released in December 2007.[8][9][10] Composer Mateo Messina also based the film's score on Dawson's music.[11]

The soundtrack album, after two weeks topping Billboard's Digital Albums chart, reached No. 8 on the Billboard 200, in its first week of release.[12] In its first full week of physical release the album sold 68,000 copies, reaching No. 3 on the Soundscan album chart. It missed out on the No. 1 spot by only 2,600 copies.[13] The following week it jumped to #2, while selling 15% fewer copies (58,000), just 2,000 copies behind first place.[14] In the album's third week of physical release it finally made the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 and Soundscan charts, selling 65,000 copies.[15] The soundtrack for Juno won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack in 2009, beating out American Gangster, August Rush, Mamma Mia and Sweeney Todd.[citation needed]

Dawson has two new songs that were released on April 8 on a follow-up album Juno B-Sides: Almost Adopted Songs that is available exclusively on iTunes.[2]

Two songs were also included in the soundtrack to Unmade Beds.

Other collaborations

Kimya Dawson with Paul Baribeau in June 2014. The two are wearing matching socks with a design similar to many of Dawson's album covers, with the words "Kimya Dawson Loves Me" appearing amongst cartoon rabbits.

Dawson performs on recordings by Ben Kweller,[16] They Might Be Giants,[17] The Mountain Goats,[18] John Wayne Shot Me,[19] Your Heart Breaks, and The Terrordactyls.[20]

The Third Eye Blind track "Self-Righteous" on their album, Out of the Vein features a duet with Dawson and Third Eye Blind's lead singer Stephan Jenkins.[21] Dawson also appears on the Third Eye Blind album, Ursa Major, on the track "Why Can't You Be". This song was available as a bonus track on the iTunes Store download.

Regina Spektor collaborated with Dawson on the song "Fire" on the Hidden Vagenda album. Dawson also collaborated with fellow antifolk Jeffrey Lewis. They made a band called 'The Bundles,' with Jack Lewis and drummer, Anders Griffen, though released the songs under the name "Kimya Dawson and Jeffrey Lewis", on a split with Jeffrey Lewis and Diane Cluck.

Under the name Geniusis, Dawson released the free album Holiday Rampage alongside Aesop Rock, Johnny Druelinger, Jason Carmer & Quinn Tuffinuff.

In February 2011, Dawson recorded a Daytrotter session with Aesop Rock, in which they performed three songs together. This session was later released in May 2011.[22] Dawson and Aesop collaborated under the name The Uncluded to release an album, Hokey Fright.

Dawson released the solo album Thunder Thighs in October 2011. The album features guest performances by Aesop Rock, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes, Forever Young Senior Citizen Rock & Roll Choir, Olympia Free Choir, Quinn Tuffinuff, Daniel Bryan, Dawson's daughter Panda and more.

She has performed numerous times with Paul Baribeau, whom she references several times in her songs.

Dawson played An Evening of Awesome at Carnegie Hall with John Green and Hank Green on January 15, 2013.[23]

On February 11, 2013, Dawson released her first music video as The Uncluded on YouTube, a group featuring Aesop Rock and herself. The single is titled "Earthquake". Their debut album Hokey Fright was released on May 7, 2013.[24] The video for their third single "Delicate Cycle" has a cameo of Lil Bub.[25]

Personal life

On Christmas day in Port Townsend, Washington in 1998, Dawson accidentally overdosed on whiskey and prescription pills. She suffered a grand mal seizure and vomited blood, which she then inhaled. To the surprise of her doctors, she woke up from a coma in a hospital the next day.[26][27]

A sometime resident of Bedford Hills, New York, Dawson moved in December 2005—with her mother, father, brother, Akida Junglefoot Dawson, and nephew—to Seattle, Washington. She went to the University of California, Los Angeles and participated in improv comedy on UCLA’s Rapid Fire Improv. In 2006, she married musician Angelo Spencer. On July 28, 2006, Dawson gave birth to a daughter, Panda Delilah, and in November 2006 she moved with her new family to Olympia, Washington. After Panda was born, Dawson and Spencer took a break from touring for a few months, playing only occasional local shows. Dawson and Spencer have since separated.

Dawson has knuckle tattoos which read "LAFF LOUD" and "ROCK SOFT". She also has a freebird tattoo on her left calf.

Dawson once inadvertently started a rumour that she was a cousin of The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti.[28]

Dawson is good friends with retired WWE wrestler Bryan Danielson.


Before The Moldy Peaches' Rough Trade releases there were several homemade CDRs.

With The Moldy Peaches

Solo albums

With Antsy Pants

With The Bundles

With The Uncluded

  • Hokey Fright – released July 5, 2013 by Rhymesayers Entertainment


  • Third Eye Blind's 2009 album: Ursa Major [Bonus Track Version] – "Why Can't You Be (With Kimya Dawson) [Bonus Track]"
  • "Third Eye Blind's 2003 album: "Out of the Vein" – "Self Righteous"
  • Antifolk Vol. 1 – "I'm Fine"
  • Anticomp Folkilation – "Will You Be Me" (Live)
  • Afro-Punk Compilation Record Vol. 1 – "Loose Lips"
  • AFNY Collaborations. Volume 1 – Kimya Dawson and Jeff Lewis
  • Titanium Heart and Chains of Love – Kimya Dawson and Matt Rouse EP (collaboration) Unicorn Sounds
  • A.K.A.- smooth jams e.p. with Adam Green and Akida Junglefoot Dawson
  • The Art Star Sounds Compilation February 2005 – "Velvet Rabbit" (Live)
  • No Parachute. Vol. 1. A compilation of indie music videos. (DVD) – "Lullaby For The Taken" (video directed by Ted Passon). 2005, Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.
  • Robot Boy DVD. Compilation of short films and videos by Ted Passon. – "Lullaby For The Taken". 2005, K Records/Secretly Canadian.
  • I Killed the Monster: 21 Artists Performings the Songs of Daniel Johnston – "Follow That Dream" 2006, Second Shimmy
  • Juno SoundtrackRhino Records 2008
  • The Terrordactyls song "Devices" featuring guest vocals by Kimya Dawson
  • Body of War: Songs that Inspired an Iraq War Veteran – "Anthrax". Sire Records March 18, 2008
  • Tallahassee Turns Ten: a Mountain Goats Cover Album (2012) [29]


  1. ^ The Moldy Peaches.
  2. ^ a b c Graff, Gary (April 2, 2008). "Singer extends Juno buzz with kids album". Reuters/Billboard. Retrieved April 5, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Half the Sky". August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gilmore, Molly (December 20, 2007). "From K Records to the silver screen". The Olympian. Retrieved December 20, 2007. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b Martens, Todd (December 20, 2007). "The quirks in 'Juno's' score ... with audio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 1, 2011. ...“Juno’s” heavy reliance on pop music, noticeably the sweetly melancholic acoustic-strummed tunes of singer/songwriter Kimya Dawson, ... it seems like your score really plays off Dawson’s work. 
  6. ^ All Songs Considered (December 19, 2008). "NPR Listeners Pick The Best Music Of 2008". National Public Radio. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 14. Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants ... Dawson's quirky, childlike songwriting turned out to be the perfect complement for the film's playful tone. 
  7. ^ a b Harvilla, Rob (Jan 8, 2008). "The Pillow Fight of Her Life". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 7, 2011. nd there on the soundtrack, bobbing and weaving amid the obligatory "indie" blockbuster tunes (Belle & Sebastian, the Kinks), is Kimya Dawson... 
  8. ^ Sciretta, Peter (September 11, 2007). "Juno Movie Soundtrack". /film. Retrieved November 10, 2007. 
  9. ^ Breznican, Anthony (October 31, 2007). "More films are using one artist for music". USA Today. Retrieved November 10, 2007. 
  10. ^ Ellen Page Talks Juno Soundtrack, Kimya Dawson Archived December 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Pitchfork Media November 21, 2007.
  11. ^ Martens, Todd (December 18, 2007). "The quirks in Juno's score ... with audio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 19, 2007. 
  12. ^ Hasty, Katie (January 11, 2008). ""Juno" soundtrack a boost for little-known singer". Billboard. Retrieved January 16, 2008. 
  13. ^ Gallo, Phil (January 16, 2008). "Keys returns to top of music charts". Variety. Retrieved January 17, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Keys tops U.S. pop chart as overall sales slide". Reuters. January 23, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2008. 
  15. ^ Hasty, Katie (January 30, 2008). "Juno Unseats Keys From Atop Album Chart". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  16. ^ Sha Sha: Music: Ben Kweller, Daniel Johnston. Retrieved on September 13, 2015.
  17. ^ Flansburgh, John (2003) Bed, Bed, Bed (They Might Be Giants). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0743250249
  18. ^ K O M A K I N O – kimya dawson. Retrieved on September 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Kimya Dawson: bio.
  20. ^ "The Terrordactyls: 'Devices'". NPR Music. January 18, 2008. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  21. ^ Bio.
  22. ^ Kimya Dawson & Aesop Rock Archived May 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.: Daytrotter Session. May 26, 2011
  23. ^ "An Evening of Awesome at Carnegie Hall". YouTube. January 15, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson Form Band the Uncluded, Announce Album, Share Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  25. ^ "The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle". YouTube. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  26. ^ Dawson, Kimya (December 27, 2007). "haunted by the ghost of the girl i used to be". Livejournal. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  27. ^ Dawson, Kimya (December 25, 2017). "Hello, is it me you're looking for? • 19 years ago tonight Tarika and Faith put me in.." Tumblr. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 
  28. ^ Dawson’s Crack (Interview w/Kimya Dawson). (March 19, 2008). Retrieved on 2015-09-13.
  29. ^ Barringer, Blade. "Tallahassee Turns Ten Kickstarter Campaign". Retrieved January 15, 2012. 

External links

  • Official Website

Audio & video

  • Kimya Dawson and Matty Pop Chart – Live at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 28, 2008 (YouTube)
  • Kimya on the Live Music Archive
  • PUNKCAST#1099 Live video – Union Hall, Brooklyn – January 20, 2007 (RealPlayer)(mp4)
  • Kimya at Amoeba Hollywood


  • Scene Missing Magazine Interviews Kimya Dawson[permanent dead link] February 1, 2005
  • Kimya Dawson interview on March 2008
  • Kimya Dawson interview on Ground Control March 2008
  • Kimya Dawson interview on April 2008
  • Kimya Dawson on Amoeba
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