Just like most of you, my husband and I are music fans. As far as quantity is concerned, we own more music-themed media than probably all other possessions combined. We used to listen to anything we were in the mood for. That all changed, though, when we had our first child last November. I feel like now we have to be a little more cautious of what's blasting out of the computer/cd player/record player. One album, in particular, actually has a warning label that states "...These tracks should NOT be listened to repeatedly at high volume. Make sure that infants are out of listening range."
At first I thought that this meant the end of all things good - that my husband's carefree days of throwing on some Mastodon were over - but there is actually a lot of great kid-friendly music out there. These are a few of my favorite, guilt-free, make-you-and-your-kids-want-to-smile bands (and albums) to listen to:
Your child will love the fact that the Decemberists sing songs full of "sea captains, legionnaires, chimney sweeps and seekers of all kinds." You will love the catchy melodies and obscure literary references. Their most recent album, The Crane Wife, was named after a Japanese children's story that Colin Meloy (a new father himself) came across in a Portland bookstore. Noteable track: The Soldiering Life
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
How could I not include them? Even their name invokes a fun dance party with your kid. Their self-titled, self-released album was released in 2005, and their second album, "Some Loud Thunder", came out earlier this year. If you like dancing, David Byrne, or songs that you can't help but tap your foot to, you should listen to Clap Your Hands. Noteable track: The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth
The Magic Numbers
I don't know what the opposite of sibling rivalry is, but this band epitomizes it. Formed from two sets of brothers and sisters, the Magic Numbers formed in the UK in 2002. Their self-titled album was released in 2005 and their second, "Those the Brokes", came out late last year. Sometimes twangy, sometimes a little reminiscent of the Mamas and the Papas, always something that'll put you in a good mood. Promote sibling friendships in your children - listen to The Magic Numbers! Noteable track: Love Me Like You
Everyone loves Sufjan Stevens, and why shouldn't you? His music is original, he's a total babe, and puts on a great live show. But what surprises me is that more people don't like Danielson. Years before Sufjan was dressing up an an Illinoisemaker, Daniel Smith was dressing up as a nurse on stage. Sufjan even played backup in the Danielson Famile. Sure, it's not as easy to listen to as Sufjan might be, and so what if Daniel looks more like Clay Aiken that you would prefer? That doesn't mean it's not good. There's not a song in the world that my son likes more than this noteable track: Did You Step On My Trumpet?
Architecture in Helsinki
This very fun, very eclectic six-person group from Australia has been known to sprinkle their songs with a glockenspiel, hand claps, synthesizers, tubas, and recorders. Sometimes listening to them I feel like I'm listening to the soundtrack of some upbeat musical. If theatrical music doesn't bother you, then I suggest you give this band a listen. They have released two albums (Fingers Crossed and In Case We Die), and their next is suited to come out in August. I promise that this is something that your kids will love. Noteable track: Wishbone