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
Born (1972-11-17) November 17, 1972 (age 50)
Bedford Hills, New York, U.S.
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
LabelsK Records

Kimya Dawson (born November 17, 1972) is an American folk singer-songwriter, one half of the anti-folk duo the Moldy Peaches. Dawson's work with the Moldy Peaches earned them a cult following and critical acclaim, with their 2001 song "Anyone Else But You" landing a spot in multiple acclaimed indie film soundtracks. "Anyone Else But You" as performed by Michael Cera and Elliot Page charted on the Billboard Hot 100 after its prominent inclusion in the 2007 film Juno, the soundtrack of which includes several songs by Dawson and her[a] associated musical acts. The song remains Dawson's highest charting single to date. In addition to their work with the Moldy Peaches, Dawson has released seven solo studio albums and collaborated with various other artists from a diverse range of genres, including Aesop Rock, They Might Be Giants, The Mountain Goats, and Third Eye Blind.


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 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. They have also been invited to participate in the Sesame Street television program.[2]

In September 2012, they 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[edit]

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 they 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]

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

Other collaborations[edit]

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 and 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 child Panda and more.

They have performed numerous times with Paul Baribeau, whom they references several times in their 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 their first music video as The Uncluded on YouTube, a group featuring Aesop Rock and themselves. 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[edit]

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

Dawson moved to Bedford Hills, New York, in December 2005. In 2006, Dawson married musician Angelo Spencer. In July 2006, Dawson gave birth to a child, Panda, and in November 2006 moved the new family to Olympia, Washington.

Dawson is good friends with AEW wrestler Bryan Danielson (aka Daniel Bryan), who appears as a guest artist on the Thunder Thighs track "Captain Lou", written in homage to wrestling manager Lou Albano.

Dawson once inadvertently started a rumor that they are a cousin of The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti.[28] Dawson came out as non-binary on November 22, 2019.[29]


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

With the Moldy Peaches[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

With Antsy Pants[edit]

With The Bundles[edit]

With The Uncluded[edit]

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



  1. ^ Dawson uses they/them and she/her pronouns. This article uses she/her and they/them pronouns for consistency.


  1. ^ The Moldy Peaches Archived October 4, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Graff, Gary (April 2, 2008). "Singer extends Juno buzz with kids album". Reuters/Billboard. Archived from the original on January 10, 2009. 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. Archived from the original on March 15, 2011. 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. Archived from the original on September 4, 2011. 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 (January 8, 2008). "The Pillow Fight of Her Life". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. 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. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2007.
  9. ^ Breznican, Anthony (October 31, 2007). "More films are using one artist for music". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. 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. Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  12. ^ Hasty, Katie (January 11, 2008). ""Juno" soundtrack a boost for little-known singer". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 15, 2008. 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. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  15. ^ Hasty, Katie (January 30, 2008). "Juno Unseats Keys From Atop Album Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. 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 Archived March 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on September 13, 2015.
  19. ^ Kimya Dawson: bio.
  20. ^ "The Terrordactyls: 'Devices'". NPR Music. January 18, 2008. Archived from the original on January 23, 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. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  24. ^ "Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson Form Band the Uncluded, Announce Album, Share Video". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  25. ^ "The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle". YouTube. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  26. ^ Dawson, Kimya (December 27, 2007). "haunted by the ghost of the girl i used to be". Livejournal. Retrieved December 26, 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. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  28. ^ Dawson’s Crack (Interview w/Kimya Dawson). (March 19, 2008). Retrieved on 2015-09-13.
  29. ^ "Kimya Dawson on Instagram: "The beginning and the end of the decade: My vision and mobility are more impaired and I'm fatter and post menopausal. I am no longer completely oblivious to the ways my life was being impacted by both dysmorphia and dysphoria. I feel less broken and more broken at the same time but the "more broken" is arthritis and the "less broken" is the emotional stuff. I'm okay with that trade off. I am more content and less erratic and I have stronger boundaries. I still have anxiety and depression but I have better tools to keep me from getting demolished by those feelings. I am less confident in my ability to save anyone/Everyone and less unhealthily convinced that it is my responsibility to do so. I no longer see the appeal of popularity. I don't care who is listening to me or who likes me. I still believe in truth, love, and kindness - but I also now want you to know that you don't have to be kind to abusers and oppressors. And I also recognize the ways people take advantage of and manipulate kind people. I see now that kindness alone isn't going to solve the things we need real revolutions for. I am no longer made to feel like I am delusional when I say that actual white supremacists are literally infiltrating the very fabric of our (Already inherently racist and fucked up) society. I am also better at passing the mic to people who have real solutions beyond making people feel better about themselves. I like singing backup on my friends' songs more than I like singing my own songs. I have less friends but my friends are solid and I admire and adore them. I couldn't have predicted how many friends and heroes would die in a 10 year span. I travel less and make art more. Little kids still think I'm pretty funny. My own kid is now a badass teenager. I still love water aerobics. I still want to eat the rich and live to witness the fall of capitalism. Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself. Neither did Sandra Bland. My pronouns are she/They/Grandpa. I got poop slippers. I will never not think farts (Or double negatives) are awesome. 🖤"".
  30. ^ Barringer, Blade. "Tallahassee Turns Ten Kickstarter Campaign". Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.

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Audio and video[edit]