Fabulous family-friendly music for kids

By: AXS Contributor Jul 14, 2014
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With the recent rise in kids music, there is an abundance of artists who create songs that children love and parents find not just tolerable, but genuinely enjoyable. And one fascinating facet of this plethora of family-focused fare is that the music is fully independent. It is not funded by a label or a corporation, it’s homegrown, handcrafted and car-trunk distributed creations of care. Here are five kindie artists worthy of your attention who are making kids music that the entire family will enjoy.

  • Laura Lee and Sway
    Josué and Laura are award winning educators, each with 10 years experience in the classroom. Though this couple is only in the beginning sta
    Laura Lee and Sway

    Josué and Laura are award winning educators, each with 10 years experience in the classroom. Though this couple is only in the beginning stages of their trek into toddler tunes, their advance three-song CD shows real promise. Contemporary beats, classic street corner harmonies, and Latin grooves will get you and your little one greeting each day with a wiggle. Splash and dance your cares away with Laura Lee and Sway. www.lauraleeandsway.com

  • Little Miss Ann
    Ann Torralba has a rather typical story for successful kindie artists. She was a highly educated individual with roots in performing “grown-
    Little Miss Ann

    Ann Torralba has a rather typical story for successful kindie artists. She was a highly educated individual with roots in performing “grown-up” music, when her daughter came along and opened her eyes. She soon left her comfortable world of certainty and, after considerable urging, she finally started doing what she had been preparing to do for her whole life. Ann’s music is serious folk with a youthful lyrical slant, much more Joni and Janis than bus wheels and Barney. www.littlemissann.com

  • Ratboy Jr.
    Timmy Sutton and Matty Senzatimore rock it hard with the hip sensibilities of the coolest indie garage-influenced bands. To get a quick aura
    Ratboy Jr.

    Timmy Sutton and Matty Senzatimore rock it hard with the hip sensibilities of the coolest indie garage-influenced bands. To get a quick aural snapshot, imagine R.E.M., Lou Reed, Weezer, Cake, Beastie Boys, etc. singing about monsters, backyard camping, breakfast, upside down worlds, puppets, and eating clouds. The title track of Champions of the Universe is about a giant-headed kid with aspirations of being a famous Mexican wrestler (luchador). Yeah, it’s pretty wild stuff! www.ratboyjr.com

  • John Hadfield
    With songs such as “Robot Monkey Head,” “Bunny Foo Foo, The High School Years,” “Stink Monkey,” and “I Like Beans,” John Hadfield runs the r
    John Hadfield

    With songs such as “Robot Monkey Head,” “Bunny Foo Foo, The High School Years,” “Stink Monkey,” and “I Like Beans,” John Hadfield runs the risk of being mistakenly labeled as juvenile. But there’s a fine line between inane and fearlessly silly, and John is miles in the clear. Hadfield has that enviable gift of Muppet snark: at once he can wholly engage and fascinate the wonder-driven mind of a child while flaunting a shrewd savvy that discerning adults will relish. www.johnhadfield.net

  • Songs By Lena
    Don’t be fooled by the painfully cute clam puns on the cover of Happy As Clams because Lena has a sinister wit that would make Montgomery Bu
    Songs By Lena

    Don’t be fooled by the painfully cute clam puns on the cover of Happy As Clams because Lena has a sinister wit that would make Montgomery Burns quiver with delight. Think edgy Carol Burnett for kids. If you really ponder the possible meanings lurking in some of her lyrics, it might make you put your hand to your mouth and exclaim, “Oh my!” But that’s exactly what makes her so Clam-tastic! She’s a viciously inventive creator with a brilliant mind that’s leaps and bounds ahead of the curve. Just one listen to “I Love ‘U’” will prove even Nashville’s top songwriters pale in comparison to her mastery of the craft. www.songsbylena.com

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