Some people use the term “outsider music” for music that seems to come from a certain place of innocence. Music that isn’t trying to get at anything and yet somehow gets at everything.
In Canada in the 1970s, music teacher Hans Fenger recorded 60 of his students singing in a gymnasium and pressed a few records to hand out to parents. The recording, which was done in a single take, eventually found itself gathering dust in a Canadian thrift store. But in 2000, a collector of outsider music came across the recordings and decided they had to be re-released. The resulting album, called Innocence and Despair, really spoke to people. It turned out to be an unexpected hit, climbing to the top of the billboard charts and spawning a VH1 documentary. Not bad for an amateur kid’s choir.