"Mama" - Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips

Mama - single cover

Mama - single cover

Artist: Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips

Song: "Mama"

Album: Forthcoming

Description: Another jumble of styles from King Jumbler himself Mista Cookie Jar.  This midtempo bouncer is autobiographical, telling the story of how his parents emigrated from the Philippines to America, but it's primarily a love song to his mom (and, therefore, of broader interest than just to those fans of one of kindie's most interesting characters).

Source: Bandcamp

Pants! - The Alphabeticians


Artist: The Alphabeticians

Album: Pants!

Description: Maybe you don't really need to know anything else other than the title to the Portland duo's latest album is, indeed, "Pants!," and yes, that exclamation point is part of the title.  That may drive some of you away, while other families will be pulled in by the lure of that title (and exclamation point).  The choice, friends, is up to you.  (If you do want to listen to one track before you decide, I'd recommend #11 ("RainbowwobnaiR").

Source: Bandcamp

The Perfect Quirk - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo


Artist: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Album: The Perfect Quirk

Description: The undisputed king of kid-hop, Skidoo's latest album is a little mellower, a little less self-empowering than some of his other work.  In my review of the album, I noted that I liked it, just not quite as much as some of his other albums.  Still worth checking out, though.

Source: Bandcamp

Full Moon, Full Moon - Papa Crow


Artist: Papa Crow

Album: Full Moon, Full Moon

Description: It's been three years (and an EP) later since Michigan's Jeff Krebs (aka Papa Crow) released his well-loved debut Things That Roar, but this week sees the release of the full-length follow-up.  Fans of the debut will hear a familiar gently playful folk sound, with some familiar artists like Frances England making an appearance.

Source: Bandcamp

How To Be a Cloud - Kira Willey

Artist: Kira Willey

Album: How To Be a Cloud

Description: The forthcoming third album from the Pennsylvania-based Willey follows the format of her first two albums -- light kindie pop that's dually purposed in the second half as the basis for yoga moves.  I've streamed the kindie pop tracks below, but you can go ahead and listen to the yoga tracks, too.

Source: Soundcloud

Back to School Playlist - Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists

Album: N/A

Description: Six songs from the roster of artists repped by Sugar Mountain PR, an excellent selection, including stuff from Justin Roberts, The Not Its, Bill Harley, Shine and the Moonbeams, Key Wilde and Mr. Clarke, and Brady Rymer.

Source: Soundcloud

Nursery Rhymes - The Kinkajous


Artist: The Kinkajous

Album: Nursery Rhymes

Description: There are lots of albums that ply the formula a + b = c, where "a" = classic preschool songs, "b" = non-folk genre, and "c" = something that is lucky to hold the family's attention unless they're diehard fans of "b," but the Caribbean twist the English band The Kinkajous apply to classic nursery rhymes (natch) has much longer staying power than most such albums.  And from a United States perspective, the handful of unfamiliar tunes (e.g., "One Man Went to Mow") also helps keep it fresh.

Source: Bandcamp

"The Dot Song" - Emily Dale and Peter H. Reynolds


Artist: Emily Dale

Song: "The Dot Song"

Album: N/A

Description: There is a good chance that you and/or your kids have read The Dot, a lovely little picture book from Peter H. Reynolds about creativity and in particular the importance of simply starting anywhere.  Now Los Angeles-based musician Dale has teamed up with Reynolds to pen this poppy song to accompany the book.  If you were charmed by the book, the song is a nice accompaniment.

Source: Bandcamp

Photo: Christine Eaves