Summer is here, and you’re going to need a soundtrack for all your adventures. “The Wheels on the Bus” will only get you so far, so we’ve rounded up a list of this summer’s hottest new kindie albums. Whether you’re into positive hip hop or Beatles-inspired pop, you’re sure to find a winner on this list. Keep reading to level up your playlist.
Suzi Shelton—Hand in Hand
Brooklyn-based artist Suzi Shelton has been rocking the kids’ music scene for over 15 years, and her newest album, Hand in Hand, is bound to be an instant favorite with your crew. The album features whimsical songs about ladybugs and raindrops alongside deeper tunes like “Can You Feel the Power” and “The Grass Is Always Greener,” which are all about inclusion and doing good in the world. Eclectic, feel-good music with an amazing message? Sign us up!
Splash and Bubbles—Rhythm of the Reef (Songs from Season One)
If your kids are fans of the PBS series Splash and Bubbles, then this collection of songs from the show’s first season is a must-have. They’ll love rocking out to the funky, Motown-inspired tunes and exploring marine science with all their favorite characters. (Psst...you can catch the show on PBS KIDS and streaming on Netflix.)
Like Father Like Son—Sun Is a Star
Like Father Like Son is the product of two kindie favorites—Frank Gallo of Rolie Polie Guacamole, and his dad, Lou Gallo of Lou Gallo & The Very Hungry Band. Some of the songs on their debut album explore the father-son theme ("Like My Dad," "Like Father Like Son") and others will make you want to get up and dance ("Day-O," "Shake Shake Shake").
Kira Willey—Every Voice
This new album from Kira Willey is sure to be a summer favorite, and its positive message makes it a hit with parents and kids alike. Littles will love the catchy, sing-along choruses, while you’ll appreciate the positive and encouraging messages in each of the songs. Plus, Kira’s soothing voice is perfect for winding down and relaxing.
Gunnar Madsen—I Am Your Food
Grammy-nominated Gunnar Madsen is back at it again with this fun collection of food-centric songs, perfect for your musically inclined foodies. Rock out to “Divine Bovine,” sung from the perspective of a dairy cow, dream about a “City of Sardines” and sing along to “10,000 Pancakes.” Just have the snacks ready!
Ants Ants Ants—Why Why Why?
Ants Ants Ants is a newly formed Portland-based duo, and their debut album is totally worth a listen. Citing influences like the Beatles, 1970s-era Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock, their songs feature lyrics filled with childlike wonder plus soothing and upbeat instrumentals. Be sure to check out their stunning illustrated music videos, too!
Sara Lovell—Wild Is Everywhere
Sara Lovell’s new album Wild Is Everywhere will take you on a journey through a landscape filled with flying children, misplaced animals and flowers that turn up in the most unexpected places. Her playful lyrics and pretty harmonies give the album endless replay value, and it’s lovely enough that you won’t even mind it being on loop.
Papa Siama and Auntie Dallas—The Land of Yangalele
Congolese-American artist “Papa Siama” Matuzungidi and singer/emcee “Auntie Dallas” Johnson have teamed up to create an album introducing kids to African culture, rhythms and music. You’ll love singing along to these feel-good songs with lyrics in English, Swahili, Lingala and Kikongo—the drive home from school will turn into a whole new adventure.
SaulPaul—We Dream in 3D
A self-proclaimed “musician with a message,” SaulPaul makes acoustic hip-hop that the whole family is sure to love. Each song contains positive messages of unity, compassion and self-confidence (plus they’ll make you get up and dance, too).
Elizabeth Mitchell and Suni Paz—Tú Eres Mi Flor
Well-loved children’s artists Elizabeth Mitchell and Suni Paz have teamed up on this awesome collection of songs sung in Spanish, perfect for sing-alongs and language learning. Each tune emphasizes the themes of harmony, compassion, gratitude and kindness—and that’s one message we can all get behind.
Rockabye Baby—Lullaby Renditions of Beastie Boys
If you’re a fan of the Beastie Boys, we’ve got the album for you. Rock your babe to sleep with the sweet sounds of “Fight for Your Right,” “Sabotage,” “Brass Monkey,” and other songs from the iconic punk band’s discography. Each song has been transformed into a soothing lullaby that’ll keep your head bobbing as your little one falls asleep.
Best Coast—Best Kids
You might know Best Coast for their festival-friendly indie rock, and now they’re dipping a toe into the world of children’s music. Best Kids is an Amazon exclusive album with a mix of original songs, covers and kid-approved classics like “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” One thing’s for sure—this is one album you’ll be happy to blast in the car.
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo—Wake Up the Dream
This kindie rock favorite is back with a brand new album, out June 29. Wake Up the Dream will take you on a whirlwind adventure through your mind with a parade of dream-inspired songs. The high-energy beats and funky melodies will keep the kiddos singing and bopping along throughout the record.
The Pop Ups—Giants of Science
We’re obsessed with this new album from two-time Grammy nominees The Pop Ups. Giants of Science is an ode to (you guessed it) scientists, with tributes to the folks who invented light bulbs, antibiotics, airplanes and other stuff that’s made our lives better. If that doesn’t pique your kid’s interest on its own, then The Pop Ups’ sweet beats definitely will.
Raffi—Dog on the Floor
As the original kindie rocker, Raffi will always have a special place in our hearts. He’s not slowing down anytime soon, and you can get your hands on his newest release Dog on the Floor on July 27. Just like his previous albums, this one is all about nurturing imagination and encouraging learning. Recorded in his own home, you’ll get to hear about his new pup on “Walking My Dog” and sing along to a cover of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.”