Despite our love for kindie, as I have mentioned in a previous post, our little one will take a step outside the genre on occasion and listen to “big people” music. When she found out daddy and mama went to a Madonna concert when she was in utero, the Queen of Pop became one of her favorite new singers. Of course, we are selective in which tunes she hears. (“Erotica”: no chance. “Hung Up”: why not?) We also get parental bragging rights because our daughter knows all the words to “Frozen.”

Madonna Thinks Tink

Madonna has actually had a hand in creating media targeted specifically at children, with a successful line of picture books. But while other musicians may have experimented with children’s music, Madonna has not tapped into that genre. However, buried within her quadruple platinum-selling, late 80s release Like a Prayer is a kid-friendly gem called “Dear Jessie.” Also buried in the overblown controversy of the “Like a Prayer” video, or perhaps overshadowed by the success of videos like “Express Yourself,” was an accompanying kid-friendly video filled with animated fairies, pink elephants, mermaids and dancing moons.

Despite its album-track status on our side of the world, “Dear Jessie” topped the charts in the UK and was even remade. Co-written by long time collaborator Patrick Leonard (“La Isla Bonita”, “Like a Prayer”,” Frozen”) this song has no ties to the dance floor Madonna is usually most comfortable visiting. It is all strings, whimsical arrangements and pop vocals, and unlike anything else from her catalogue.

The video itself used to be hard to come by. Created by London-based Animation City, and directed by Derek Hayes, it is now on Madonna’s official YouTube site. Madonna herself does not even appear in this video, except as a Tinkerbell-like animated fairy. Check out the video here or purchase the track and rediscover a forgotten tune.

Sunny pop from the Asteroids Galaxy Tour. No, really.

We are huge proponents of quality kids/family music in our house. However, I also celebrate adding a few adult songs to your kiddie-centric playlist.  Specifically, appealing to your child’s blossoming music tastes while appeasing your need for some songs that are NOT about the ABCs and 123s. Below, is a summer-tuned, shuffle-friendly playlist of music that wasn’t written with kids in mind but that Maia and I thoroughly enjoy bobbing our heads to. Yes, it is slightly biased to my music tastes, but I promise this summer-riffic playlist will have you smiling too!

Basement Jaxx - We love blasting this electronic duo’s greatest hits. Their music is full of bubbly, fast-paced grooves with a decade-plus songbook to handpick toddler-friendly grooves from. Maia’s favorite is the chant-like “Bingo Bango.” New summer-themed single “”Raindrops” is also rising up our charts as well.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - This Danish band has several songs on their new album “Fruit” that are made for warm summer days. Our family favorite is “The Golden Age,” where lead vocalist Mette Lindberg’s vocals are mixed with a unique combination of rat-pack era jazz and hip-hop beats.

Passion Pit
Boston boys make it big

Sonny J – This English singer/songwriter/ DJ/ producer has a year-old album full of songs that are sure to get the family moving. The Jackson 5-meets-Fatboy Slim track “Can’t Stop Moving” is the true summertime standout on this sampledelic album. The video itself is worth a view too, recalling 70′s era “Sesame Street” musical numbers.

Passion Pit – One of the biggest breakthrough acts of the spring,  this Cambridge, Mass-based band have a few songs from their new Manners LP that are perfect summertime jams. The surefire hit is the synthy, beat-driven “Sleepyhead” with its  sing-along chorus.

Madonna - Don’t hate. We’ve got mad love for Madonna in my house. We have been playing Maia a lot of the newer stuff. “Do you like to boogie-woogie?” is one of her favorite lines. And no,  “Justify My Love” is not on the playlist.

A few more warm weather-inspired recommendations that Maia seems to have taken to, and that I am more than happy to play if the lyrics are appropo:

Ting Tings – (See previous post)

The Little Ones - L.A. indie pop (and “Yo Gabba Gabba” guests)

Phoenix – French pop/rock band

Annie – Norwegian electropop singer

Miike Snow – Swedish pop/rock/electronica band

Cut Copy – Australian synthpop band

Goldfrapp - British electronic music group

Backseat Fun!
All smiles in the backseat with Dad on the decks