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A pumpkin spice candle flickers on my mantle. The boys are playing together as peacefully as two rowdy boys can. And my favorite music is streaming from Pandora on the living room TV. It is the perfect recipe for a fall afternoon full of self-care.
My music tastes began shifting a few years ago – away from country and onto the genre which I call “Pop” because I’m not really sure what else to call it. My favorite “grown up” playlist includes Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Howie Day, Ellie Goulding, Anna Nallick, Nickelback, Sara Bareilles, Rachel Platten, P!nk, Christina Perri, Colbie Caillat, Kelly Clarkson, Mandy Moore, Jordin Sparks, OneRepublic, Train, Adele, Ed Sheeran, The Script, Maroon 5, Five for Fighting, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Tyler Hilton, Sam Smith, Natasha Bedingfield, 3 Doors Down, David Archuleta, Lifehouse, Passenger, One Direction, Phillip Phillips, Nick Lachey, Demi Lovato, Clay Aiken, Leona Lewis, Plain White Ts, Anthem Lights, Snow Patrol, Avril Lavigne, Daughtry, and a few others.
So yeah, whatever genre THAT is. (I’ll let someone smarter than me figure that out for me.)
Normally, though, that’s music I listen to while working out, or when the boys are gone or asleep. Let’s just say this music isn’t the most kid-friendly. Especially when the kids are old enough to really start listening to lyrics.
A few months ago, I was in a serious “music funk” – which is my way of saying that I wanted to listen to music, but nothing was hitting me the right way, and it all just seemed sort of annoying. My “pop” playlist was too much. My yoga playlist too…birthy (I listened to it a ton when I was pregnant). My Christian playlist was too bombastic. My country playlist was just too…country. I even tried some full-on classical, which worked for about two days until that got tiresome too. I would flip through songs, hitting my skip limits left and right until I sort of gave up.
Randomly, one evening while cuddling in bed with Ezra, I started a new channel on Pandora with the seed of Piano Guys. They were a group I had seen off and on through random Facebook videos, but never really followed much.
Within a few weeks, Pandora started sending all of these amazing artists my way, and I feel like I’ve stumbled upon this gold-mine of a new sub-genre that has all of my favorite songs in gentle, instrumental covers. Which means they are safe listening for my whole family, calming for my soul, and just SO PERFECT for this stage of life I’m in right now. I am enjoying it SO much that I’ve decided to share it with all of you. Because when you can listen to Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, and Adele when your kids are in the room AND feel relaxed while doing it, it’s totally worth sharing with all of your mommy friends!
All of these artists are available on Pandora. If you are interested in just streaming my channel, you can do so by clicking here. All links are to Amazon or iTunes – where you can purchase albums, purchase digitally, or stream via Prime.
Intense Music Picks
(These are artists feature heavy strings, driving syncopation and rhythm – I get a headache if I listen to too many songs in a row, but these are fabulous picks!)
- The Piano Guys
- Dallas String Quartet
- Vitamin String Quartet
- Midnite String Quartet (MSQ has a whole album of just Frozen covers!)
- Simply Three
- Lindsey Stirling
- Brooklyn Duo
- Break of Reality
- Damien Escobar
- David Garrett
- Daniel Jang
Gentler Music Picks
(These artists are more piano-centric than strings, with a gentler feel)
- Scott Davis – Rockinfluence
- David Sides
- David Huntsinger – particularly his Once Upon a Time album
- Nolan Gasser – covers hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s
- O’Neill Brothers
- Instrumental Brothers
- Danny Wright – covers a lot of Broadway hits
- Stan Whitmire
- James Patrick Dunne
- Emile Pandolfi – a lot of Broadway
- Tim Callicrate
- Dan Troxell
- Richard Blumenfield
- Daniel Ketchum
- Hardey and Welch
- Marilyn Byrnes
- Christine Brown
- Ron Merritt
Lullaby Music Picks
(These are pop covers written specifically for tiny ears!)
- Jammy Jams
- Sleepytime Tunes (they have an entire Taylor Swift album!)
- Rockabye Baby (they also have an entire Taylor Swift album – but a lot of their albums are 80s covers)
- Music Box Mania
- Rock N’ Roll Baby Lullaby Ensemble
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star
I hope that – whether you are listening on Pandora, Amazon, Spotify, or iTunes – you enjoy these artists as much as I have been