As a father of three daughters, including our own little new release Daylyn Randi, I believe it is important to expose children to music at an early age. I recommend finding local music teachers for your children so they can gain an appreciation for the art. As a music fan who happens to be a dad, I also have a deep appreciation for artists who have the ability to make children’s music that appeals to both kids and parents. One band that excels at making enjoyable, family-friendly music is West Columbia, SC’s Lunch Money.
This quartet, which proudly states that it creates “indie music for the entire family,” delivers as promised on its fourth studio album Spicy Kid. This 10-song set is not filled with the hyper-kinetic and silly songs you might expect to find on children’s music releases; rather it’s a lo-fi kiddie rock concept album highlighting different facets of the parent-child relationship.
Lunch Money aptly describes the songs on Spicy Kid as musical snapshots of life and Molly Ledford, the band’s lead singer and primary songwriter, does an excellent job relating the small shared moments between parents and their kids.
Molly expertly captures the key role parents play in helping the world understand a toddler just learning to talk on the precious “Translator.” Another great example of Molly’s spot-on songwriting is “Awake,” in which she conveys the mindset of a child making the tense nighttime journey down the hall to the parents’ bedroom with lines like:
“I know every creak in the floor between my room and your door/It’s the path that I take when I’m suddenly awake/Why I feel the need to creep, while my family is sound asleep/I just need one, not them all, so I never call/Oh the choreography of measuring and stepping lightly/Brush my hand against the wall/I know you listen in your sleep.”
Although there are some up-tempo tunes like the rockin’ title track, the catchy indie pop of “Time Out” and “S.P.E.L.L.,” which instantly makes you want to sing along, Spicy Kid’s overall tone is a bit subdued. Don’t expect a bunch of ballads or slow songs, the album just has a laid-back feel to it. The jangly acoustic “What Will You Ever See?” and the folksy “You Were A Basket Of Flowers” are two of the album’s mellower highlights.
Speaking of mellow kid’s music, the long-running Rockabye Baby! series of lullaby releases keeps chugging along and popping out discs perfectly suited to usher your little ones to sleep. In case you aren’t familiar, Rockabye Baby! collections transform the music of popular rock, pop and rap artists into subdued, keyboard-driven lullabies.
Although the CDs provide quiet music to calm kids and make them sleepy, parents listening to their little ones on monitors also benefit. Instead of the usual soothing classical music selections included on most lullaby sets, mom and dad now get to listen to the familiar melodies they know and love from groups like The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Green Day, Radiohead, Coldplay, Queen and Van Halen.
You’ve probably never considered tucking in the kids and playing some Tool, Metallica, Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Weezer, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails or Kanye West, but thanks to Rockabye Baby! they are all now viable slumber-inducing options.
Rockabye Baby! offers something for fans of most popular music genres. Recent releases featuring the music of U2, Prince, KISS, The Smiths and Foo Fighters exemplify the series’ diverse selection.
Country music fans shouldn’t feel left out. The same group offers the Hushabye Baby series with collections showcasing the music of Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and others.