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Fatherly’s 2015 Year In Music

The following was produced in partnership with our friends at Spotify, whose own 2015 Year In Music is live and waiting to become the official soundtrack to your December.

There’s a soundtrack for every moment in life — as a parent, yours just happens to have the clean versions of all the songs. The following is a collection of playlists representing some of the moments that defined 2015 for parents, from marriage equality to girls generally kicking ass to the increasing chance that you might actually get to take some time off work to enjoy these playlists with your newborn child. There’s also a thorough breakdown of the kids’ songs and musicians that dominated your Spotify play count, whether you were rocking an infant to sleep or chasing a kid around the yard in matching Carli Lloyd jerseys. So gather them around the old bluetooth speaker, because if you want your kids to grow up with your own impeccable taste in music, you have to start ’em young.

Love Winsfatherly_spotify_year_in_music_love_wins_gay_marriage_classic_wedding_songsAfter a protracted legal battle that probably definitely took way longer than it should have, on June 26 the Supreme Court made an historic 5-4 ruling in favor of recognizing gay couples’ legal right to marry. For a while there, it looked like a rainbow bomb exploded all over the internet as #LoveWins trended worldwide and couples everywhere ran down to city hall and made it official. It was one of those moments your kids will eventually interview you about for a social studies project, and you’ll remember exactly where you were. Too often, those moments are sad, but this one is worth celebrating again and again. Fire up this playlist to relive the party.

Wedding Classics
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The Bands Your Kid Liked Before They Were Coolfatherly_spotify_year_in_music_2015_indie_kids_musicians_2015_most_playedKids’ music has experienced something of a renaissance over the past 15 years, which you might not have realized if you were busy doing other things like not having kids. To update you, goofing up classic roots songs and toning down nursery rhymes are still go-to moves, but today’s children’s artists — including several guys who were yesterday’s your artists — incorporate a range of influences from hip hop to new wave to bluegrass into songs written about subjects kids innately grasp. Like a flea that has dogs, or a knock knock joke-telling octopus. You know, regular everyday stuff. Check out the most-played indie kids’ artists of the year.

Most Popular Indie Kids’ Songs Of 2015

Farewell, Mariafatherly_spotify_year_in_music_2015_sesame_street_maria_retire_sonia_manzanoFor kids who grew up watching Sesame Street, or just never grew up despite getting older, July 2 became a day of mourning when Sonia Manzano, better known as Maria, announced her retirement after 44 years on the show. (Somehow, some way, this is Elmo’s fault.) During that time, she won 15 Emmys for writing, helped teach you and your kids about everything from the alphabet to racism to death, and may well have been the first Latin American you had in your house. There will be no on-screen farewell for Maria, so play some of Sesame‘s greatest hits to remember all the good times and Spanish lessons.

A Totally Subjective Best Of Sesame Street Playlist
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Who Run The World (Cup)?fatherly_spotify_year_in_music_2015_womens_world_cup_usa_win_carli_lloydEvery 4 years, the U.S. remembers soccer is the world’s most popular sport, and every following year the world remembers the U.S. women are pretty damn good at soccer. On July 5, Carli Lloyd put on a display for the ages — 3 goals in the first 16 minutes, including an absolute golazo (it’s a soccer thing, look it up) — to guarantee victory in a finals rematch against Japan. Retiring captain Abby Wambach finally got her World Cup trophy, the FIFA video game featured women’s national teams for the first time, and your daughter got really annoyed with you constantly stealing her jersey. Celebrate their run to glory with this playlist by and about girls who run the world.

Put On Repeat Before Your Kid’s Big Game
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What The Kids Are Into These Daysfatherly_spotify_year_in_music_top_kids_songs_of_2015If you believe lighting your child’s path towards a life of music snobbery is a parental rite of passage, you’re not wrong. You’re just overlooking another one: your kid freaking loves “The Wheels On The Bus.” Kid A? Not so much. There’s a reason parents play the same “classic” children’s songs over and over … and over and over again: kids like them! So no, listening to the top 20 most-played children’s songs of the year doesn’t make you a bad parent. Being a Raffi-hating metalhead might.

The Most Popular Kids’ Songs Of 2015

Cleanup In The Pink Aislefatherly_spotify_year_in_music_2015_target_removes_gendered_toys_songsIn August, Target took a big step towards wiping out a subtle bastion of segregation in America: the toy aisle. Their decision to remove “Boys” and “Girls” labels from toy and bedding departments confirmed most parents’ long-held beliefs that kids can play with whatever the hell they want and none of them ever sleep anyway, regardless of the color of their sheets. Trends in the toy industry and modern kids’ interests support the move. Kids aren’t born with gender stereotypes, so they don’t need to learn them at the place where you buy their toys and pillows and Good god you spent how much? You were just supposed to pick up toilet paper! Play these tracks about toys on your next Target run, whenever your spouse lets you go back.

Songs About Toys That Don’t Care If You Have A Boy Or A Girl

Take Your Leave, Pleasefatherly_spotify_year_in_music_paid_paternity_leave_spotify_netflix_amazonLoads of companies made progressive statements on paid family leave this year, with dad-friendly paternity leave policy announcements coming from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Spotify, and in November, King Zuck himself. Well-deserved kudos go to all the like-minded companies working hard to achieve 2 noble goals: giving American working parents the same rights and flexibility as literally every other developed country in the world, and getting on Fatherly’s 50 Best Places To Work For New Dads list. Here’s a playlist of new lullabies you’ll come to know well, because — Congratulations! — you’re never sleeping again.

The New Lullabies
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Let’s All Go To The Moviesfatherly_spotify_year_in_music_star_wars_force_awakens_space_songsStar Wars: The Force Awakens is easily the most anticipated movie of the year (You go home and think about what you did, Jurassic World!), and you’re almost certainly more excited for it than your kid. Don’t worry, they’re cool with all the movie watching and toys you’ve used to prepare them. And after they see it, maybe they’ll become a lightsabre-wielding geek like their dear old dad. Worst case scenario: they finally understand the Jedi wisdom you’ve doled out their whole life. Actually, the worst case scenario is what all those kids whose parents named them Anakin are about to experience. When you’re headed to the midnight show, play these songs about journeying to galaxies far, far away [Hat tip to The Pop Ups for their expert curation], or hit up Spotify’s “Star Wars Match” playlist generator to finally find out if you’re more Han than Luke.

Star Wars For Kids
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