If you're a new parent and you'd like to venture beyond the standard lullaby fare of "Hush, Little Baby," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and "Rock-a-bye Baby," check out these new lullabies for babies. This new wave of music for babies will soothe your sleeping tots while introducing you to original compositions by new artists and performers.
Kesang Marstrand's kids' music debut album is touching and playful, mysterious and warm, and is certainly one of the most beautiful lullaby albums you'll ever hear. With simply her voice and acoustic guitar, Marstrand creates 12 perfect examples of naptime music on Hello Night, an aural testament to the power of simplicity. Hello Night also made the Best Kids' Music of 2009 list.
Released September 1, 2009; North Node Records
Napper's Delight is one of the best "kick your feet back and relax" albums out there, which makes it a perfect choice for your little one's afternoon curfew. Dog On Fleas head honcho Dean Jones presents a beautiful collection of originals and classic folk tunes, ideal for winding down after a long day of play.
Released September 25, 2007; Dean Jones
By far the best Beatles lullaby album available. Falkner doesn't just plink around on a toy piano, churning out exact replicas: he transforms each tune and makes it his own by utilizing his multi-instrumental talents and arranging skills, while maintaining the original spirit and melody of each classic.
Released October 30, 2001; Sony Wonder
Dreamy lyrics and melodies to die for made this album the best naptime CD of 2008. American Nancy Falkow and Dubliner Fran King's sublime pop songwriting skills appeal to indie rock-loving grownups, as well. Sunflow's kids' music debut Under the Stars features soothing lyrics, loads of harmonies, and knowing nods to Emitt Rhodes, Harry Nilsson, Paul McCartney & Wings, The High Llamas, and Barry Manilow. Under the Stars also made the Best Kids' Music of 2008 list.
Released December 1, 2008; Head Space Records
Charlie Hope's World of Dreams is her second CD of music for children and their families, and her first lullaby album. Shimmery guitars, atmospheric arrangements, and warm recording techniques give World of Dreams a very intimate but accomplished feel, and hints of musical cues from The Sundays, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, and George Harrison ebb and flow throughout the album.
Released September 29, 2009; Little Maple Leaf Productions
After several albums of shimmering power pop, Justin Roberts pulls in the reins and releases his first collection of quiet tunes. Although the volume is turned down a little, Roberts' musical influences (including Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, James Taylor, and Carole King) are revealed through the melodies and song structures on Lullaby.
Released November 19, 2012; Carpet Square Records
A great collection of covers by an assortment of current indie artists. Every song is given the peaceful, even ethereal, sleepytime treatment, from well-known hits like ELO's "Can't Get it Out of My Head" and The Beatles' "Dear Prudence," to classic indie songs like The Smiths' "Asleep" and Kate Bush's "Cloudbursting," to familiar pop tunes like "Moon River" and "Pure Imagination" (from Willy Wonka). Discover new indie sounds while relaxing with music from the past.
Released May 18, 2010; American Laundromat Records
Lullaby Island combines sounds of nature with 18 original and traditional tunes, most of which you've never heard but all of which you and your baby need to hear. Norton's style is reminiscent of Sandy Denny, and the songs on Lullaby Island are mostly a cappella, with a little guitar, Celtic harp, and tin flute. Norton is Voice Movement Therapy Registered and is originally from the UK, but now she teaches classes in the San Francisco Bay area. Lullaby Island won a Parents' Choice Award and was recommended by Mothering magazine.
Released November 30, 2006; Voxchops Music
The Innocence Mission is Lancaster, PA-based Don and Karen Peris, who perform ethereal, quiet tunes with nothing but guitars and a far away-sounding upright piano. Now the Day is Over is a mix of pop tunes like "Moon River" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," gospel hymns like "It is Well with My Soul" and "Now the Day is Over," and classical instrumentals like Chopin's "Prelude in A" and Beethoven's "Sonata No. 8." The album also includes a superb original by Karen Peris, "My Love Goes with You."
Released November 9, 2004; Badman Recording Company
Not a lullaby album in the truest sense, the Curious George Soundtrack is nevertheless full of Jack Johnson's typically laid back tunes, nice for dozing off. This naptime-friendly album by Hawaiian native Johnson also includes covers of songs by his musical pals: "Jungle Gym" by G. Love, "With My Own Two Hands" by Ben Harper (from Diamonds on the Inside), and "We're Going to Be Friends" by The White Stripes (from White Blood Cells).
Released February 7, 2006; Brushfire Records / Universal Records, Inc.