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

If We Must We Must - The Good Ms. Padgett


Artist: The Good Ms. Padgett

Album: If We Must We Must

Description: "Compared to the folksier and often hushed [sister-in-law Elizabeth] Mitchell, however, Padgett cranks up the volume, if not to 11, at least to 8 or 9 on a few tracks." (from the review)

Source: Bandcamp

3's a Charm - Mista Cookie Jar & the Chocolate Chips

Artist: Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips

Album: 3's a Charm

Description: A brand new EP from SoCal's heartfelt master-mixer musical styles (one guess as to the number of tracks), 3's a Charm a somewhat mellower outing featuring 3 love songs to the youngsters in his family.

Source: Bandcamp

More Multicultural Children's Songs (Sampler) - Ella Jenkins


ArtistElla Jenkins

AlbumMore Multicultural Children's Songs

Description:  A follow-up to her 1995 album Multicultural Children's Songs, this new album will be released on August 5th to celebrate the music legend's 90th birthday.  Twenty songs from her catalogue, plus a liner note essay from Ella herself.  Here are three tracks...

Source: Soundcloud / Smithsonian

Road Trip - Hullabaloo

Artist: Hullabaloo

Album: Road Trip

Description: It's May, which means it's time to start thinking about road trips, traveling across the state (or even the country) to experience new things.  The 2011 album from the San Diego-area band has a whiff of the open road that's a sweet match for your family's summer travels.  (Original review here.)

Source: Bandcamp

Cat Doorman Songbook (Sampler) - Cat Doorman

Artist: Cat Doorman (aka Julianna Bright)

Album: Cat Doorman Songbook (sampler)

Description: You can now stream most of one of 2013's most distinctive-sounding albums.  The debut kids' album from Portland, Oregon's Bright has an Etsy aesthetic and a brave emotional tone.  (And sometimes it rocks out, too.)  Listen to nine album tracks via the widget below.

Source: Soundcloud