Twee Time: Sensitive Boys and Girls with Small Voices

SO! You want to know about twee, eh?  Indie pop?  CuddleXcore?  Bubble gum pop?  Well, Pitchfork does a very nice job of summing up the history and profile of twee music scene, but twee is also a lifestyle, son.  These are hipsters with a heart, connoisseurs of cute, and frankly, I'm not convinced you can handle all the tweezy up in heezy.  But I'll do my best to explain it to you, anyway.

"Don'tcha wish your girlfriend was twee like me?  Don'tchaaa...."

Arts and crafts are twee.  Polaroid cameras are twee.  Barrettes are twee.  Bright colors are twee.  Knit hats are twee.  Glasses are twee.  Cardigans are twee.  Smiling is twee.  Inanimate objects with faces are twee. Tights are twee.  First love is twee.  Second love is twee.  Libraries are twee.  Sunshine is twee.  Clouds are twee.  Trees are twee (especially to babies).  Hearts are twee.  Being nice is twee.  Cuddling is twee.  Apple pie cookies are twee.  Record players are twee.  DIY is twee.  Blogging is twee.  Bikes are twee.  Buying local is twee.  Literature is twee.  Vintage is twee.  Ukuleles and glockenspiels are twee.  So are tiny drums.  

"Alright, guys, good show.  Let's load up the van."

But twee is not any one of these things by itself, and this list is by no means an exhaustive definition.  Twee is so many things, you see (did I mention that rhyming is also quite twee?).

Stop motion music videos are twee.  Especially if they involve hot air balloons sewed out of felt, cotton ball clouds, or construction paper cut-outs of waves moving back and forth to look like the sea.  
Here is a twee stop motion short:

If you ever find yourself at a twee wedding, you'll know it mainly by the outfits and decor: Suspenders and bow ties on dudes with large beards, mismatching bridesmaids in thrift store dresses, and some shit called bunting all over the place, as if the father of the bride is planning to start a pick-up game of capture the flag after the ceremony.  There will probably be wedding pie, the vows will be said under an expansive tree rife with metaphor, and the wedding dress may have cost $12 total, including alterations.

Twee weddings: More fun than a quilting bee.
But not much more.

But most of all, twee is music: Upbeat, lo-fi, tinkly songs that celebrate how wonderful and lovely and colorful the world is, and how charming and delightful we all are in it.  Not overly complicated in form or content, the albums are usually produced and distributed by the artists themselves, down to the hand-drawn artwork on the album covers.  Word is often spread through the internet, as many twee kids are the shy, quiet cousins of the cooler-than-fuck hipsters and the serious, sensitive indie crowd.  Still, you can always tell someone is twee by the cheerful little smile on their face (not to mention the dress-tights-flats or colored-jeans-and-oxfords combo).  

The twee community likes pot luck house shows where everyone brings a (tiny) instrument and some (usually vegan) food.  Sometimes the shows will be at a co-op or on someone's back lawn; a light summer rain or fireflies are seen as a blessing from the twee gods, which would send everyone into orgasmic ecsta-twee - that is, if twee kids experienced sexual feelings (evidence suggests that they do not).  The audience will sing and snap and whistle and clap along to the sweet, simple songs, everyone dressed to the nines in their colorful Goodwill finds, outfits assembled to show minimum skin and maximum cuteness.

I was going to include a sampling of twee songs, but then I realized that this would be completely lacking in the twee spirit.  So instead, I will mail a mix CD of my favorite twee songs to anyone who asks for one in a comment.  There will be cover art.  Hand-drawn.  'Cause that's how those twee kids do.

Put the kettle on; it's twee time.

Images via: Twee House Radio, unknown (let me know?), Four For the Day, Nessa K Photography, and Etsy.

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