When asked what audiences can expect at a show by Northampton band And The Kids, singer and guitarist Hannah Mohan replies with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
"They can expect to see moderately attractive people playing moderately attractive music," she says.
But the truth is anything but moderate. Officially performing under the And The Kids banner since April, the local quartet currently features Mohan, Paul Gelineau (guitar, vocals), Luke Averill (upright bass, electric bass, vocals) and Rebecca Lasaponaro (drums, percussion and vocals). A fifth member from Ottawa, Megan Miller (percussion), is slated to join in the coming months. And the group is also planning to record its first demo soon.
As for how the collection of friends decided to join forces and make music, well, that involves pirates.
"Our formation was inevitable, because we all have the same group of friends and we all play instruments that make up a rock band," Mohan says. "We have a group of friends that we trust as family. One of our friends, Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, sort of took the role as 'Mama,' and in return we became 'The Kids.' We used to call ourselves And The Kids And The Pirates because there was a magical summer where we lived on a pirate island and we called our group of friends 'The Pirates.' Unfortunately, that band name was too convoluted."
Not so convoluted is the band's take on indie folk and rock. Songs such as "Worried Looks," "Sun Don't Shine" and "Geology" brim over with unique melodies and choruses that beg for sing-alongs. Perhaps most endearing of all are the lyrics, which, despite And The Kids' members youth, seem timeless.
Mohan says, "Somebody lays down something on their instrument, and then we all just wing it on each of our own instruments. The lyrics are given to me from my imaginary penguin friend."
Mohan and Lasponaro spent time as interns at the Institute for the Musical Arts in Goshen, where they both still work. Founded by Ann Hackler and June Millington (former member of Fanny), the IMA is a nonprofit whose mission is to support females' pursuit of careers in music.
Augmented by Gelineau's experience gleaned from playing in a series of groups (including The Coyote Choir) over the last decade as well as Averill's time as a freelance musician for hire, the group seems ready to move ahead. But first Mohan hopes to find official And The Kids headquarters.
"We have a studio in Holyoke, but we are currently looking for a band house," she says. "We are [also] going on tour next year with a band called Silent Spring, from Montreal. Our music has been evolving steadily and we feel like we are at a great place with it now."
And the Kids open for Girl in a Coma July 19, 10 p.m., $10-13, Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St., Northampton, (413) 586-8686, www.iheg.com.
For more information on And The Kids, visit www.facebook.com/pages/And-The-Kids/192156720826532.