The Top 15 Kids' CDs of 2015
Because kindie music — music that addresses themes for kids under 10 — transcends boundaries, my Top 10 expanded to a Top 15 this year.
The first time I played Trees, it became my favorite CD of the year. Everything else on this list ties for the Number Two spot during this great year of music. Several albums use infectious tunes to reflect our changing society, and I’m delighted to include a CD that bridges the worlds of kindie music and show tunes.
Trees/Billy Kelly & Molly Ledford
This woody celebration helmed by kindie giants Molly Ledford (Lunch Money), Billy Kelly (and the Blah Blah Blahs) and producer Dean Jones mixes simple (“(It’s Just a) Dumb ol’ Stick”), danceable (“To the Woods”), dreamy (“Angel Oak”) and old-timey (“Acorns”) to produce my Number One pick of 2015.
Dark Pie Concerns/Morgan Taylor
The quirky mix of Beatle-esque sounds and imaginative lyrics mark every Gustafer Yellowgold release. Young families will treasure this CD/DVD that tells of the alien visitor from the sun’s latest adventure.
Rainbow Train/Chana Rothman
This delightfully danceable CD that celebrates gender freedom in whatever forms it takes is Free to Be You and Me for the 21st century.
Simpatico/Renee & Friends
When hanging out with your friends (like Colin Hay and Lisa Loeb) creates something remarkable, that’s Simpatico, Renee Stahl’s gentle collection of “hushed harmonies.”
All Kinds of You and Me/Alastair Moock
Another descendent of Free to Be, this CD celebrates real life in 2015, with diverse definitions of family, gender and freedom (e.g., “I am Malala”).
Pop-infused deliciousness helmed by Chica’s friend Tim on Sprout TV. This charmer should be the biggest star in the world.
Deep Woods Revival/Red Yarn
With traditional folk music that’s part of a larger narrative vision, the CD stands alone as a folkie treasure. Andy Furgeson’s brilliant puppetry brings the songs to life on stage.
A delightful CD/DVD release that explores Joanie’s Jewish heritage in a way that engages modern families.
Dancin’ in the Kitchen/Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
Subtitled “Songs for ALL Families,” this folk-tastic collection of original tunes (title tune), classics (“I’m My Own Grandpa”) and covers (Justin Roberts’ “From Scratch”) celebrates families in all forms.
Hot Air/Recess Monkey
This Seattle-based trio never disappoints, turning their musical eye to the sky.
Deer Sounds/Linda Perry & Sara Gilbert
Linda and Sara’s baby inspired this complex experience that combines musical authenticity and childlike truths.
Hamster Pants/Ratboy Jr.
These goofy rockers have clever lyrics and a musical range that appeals to older kids.
Flight of the Blue Whale/Pointed Man Band
Oddly wonderful, imaginative storytelling presented through song.
Singalong History Volume 1: Glory Glory Hallelujah/Lloyd M. Miller
A great addition to the tradition of teaching history through song.
Hansel & Gretel/Justin Roberts
Kindie star Roberts brings his brilliant songwriter’s ear to this new adaptation of the classic fairy tale.
Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of the Peabody-award-winning Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.