If The Beach Boys made music for kids (well, they kinda did, right?), it would sound like this harmony-filled pop gem from Justin Roberts' 2008 album Pop Fly. The sounds of summer come ringin' through on Chicago native Roberts' tribute to his favorite pool accessory.
"Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!" - Adam and The Couch Potatoes
This joyous acoustic tune proclaims the awesomeness of spending the entire day in the pool, complete with a bubbly "Yellow Submarine"-like instrumental break. Adam Selzer and the rest of his Nashville-based Couch Potatoes recorded "Swimming, Swimming, Swimming!" for their kids' music debut album, One Size Fits All...!
The superb pastoral pop and cosmic lyrics of "Green Grass of Summer" could only have come from Dog On Fleas, a collective of musicians based in New York's Hudson Valley. This tune from When I Get Little sees a woodland creature eagerly awaiting the warmer months.
"Ridin' the Big Waves" - Charity and The JAMband
Whatcha got here is basically a follow-the-leader activity song set to some twangy surf rock. Charity Kahn and her San Francisco-based band are paddlin', chillin' out, and droppin' in on this tune from Peanut Butter and JAM.
"Her Sound is Sunshine" - The Dreamtree Shakers
Falling somewhere between the groovy pop of The Cowsills and the lo-fi indie rock of Lou Barlow, "Her Sound is Sunshine" evokes the laid-back feel of summertime. Chicago's Dreamtree Shakers recorded this tune, from their Dream and You Will See album, about a mole who likes to cook. Sure, why not!
If you could imagine an acoustic version of The Ramones with Jack Johnson as their lead singer, you got "Surfer Shake," an energetic ode to all things gnarly. The Atlanta-based Baby Grands released "Surfer Shake" on their self-titled kids' music debut.
"Summer/Sunshine" - Rebecca Frezza & Big Truck
The drone of mandolins and acoustic guitars, along with the stream of consciousness lyrics, evoke the feeling of a lazy summer day. "Summer/Sunshine" can be found on Special Kind of Day, the fourth kids' album by New Jersey's Rebecca Frezza.
"Mary Ann" - Father Goose
This popular calypso tune has been recorded by Xavier Cugat, Burl Ives, and Terry Gilkyson & The Easy Riders. Ansel Cridland from The Meditations joins fellow Jamaican Father Goose on this version of "Mary Ann" from It's a Bam Bam Diddly!
"Sunny Day" - Ernie & Neal
"Sunny Day" is from Ernie & Neal's fourth CD, Rock & Roll Band, and sounds as if Grand Funk Railroad went the kids' music route, complete with horn break and guitar solo. The crunchy, loping rocker by Philly/west New Jersey's head bangin' duo explores the endless possibilities of a sunny summer day.
"A Day at the Beach" - Bari Koral
Bari and her band spend "A Day at the Beach" diggin' the kites, surfers, waves, and sand. This twangy rocker can be found on NYC-based Bari's 6-song EP Family Rock Band.
"Shine On Me" - D. Jay
New Jersey's D. Jay (Dennis King) celebrates the wonderfulness of a summer day with his self-described "Folk-stomp" musical style. Buggy Baloo features the tune "Shine On Me," highlighted by D. Jay's strident acoustic guitar and warm vocals.