Playlist – Kids Album Demos


Here are the current 7 demos for the kids album. What does “demo” mean? Demo means they’re not finished. Some are further along than others, and some might be completely rerecorded. So consider everything here “wet clay.” You can comment below on songs and say what you think is working well and what maybe isn’t working well. Your email is kept private.

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25 thoughts on “Playlist – Kids Album Demos”

  1. Great songs. Well done. I have no technical feedback to give, just how I feel while listening.

    Picture Day
    • I love the anthem quality of this song. The one-sided dialogue is great.

    Bob August Traffic Report
    • Light-hearted and bouncy. It’s great. So locally specific, but that’s fine. We don’t have Bob August where I live, and we don’t have traffic jams, but I still love it. My 4-year-old walks around singing “no thank you ma’am”.

    Time to Get Dressed
    • The “Hey what’s so funny” is great every time. My 7-year-old liked Things I’ve Never Seen the most for awhile because of slipping on banana peels, but when he heard this one it became a new favorite. I can’t make out the word, “Should I try again? Okay here I go _______.” Is it “then” or “again?” The audio is pleasingly soft throughout the song, but I guess I need it a little more sharp sometimes to catch the words.

    One Tire Said to the Other
    • Sounds like a nice day in the back yard. My 7-year-old wants to know if they actually became tire swings in the end. My wife really likes this song. I couldn’t decide if I should think of it as a song about reincarnation, about the resurrection of the dead at the return of Christ, or just about a couple animated tires talking about what happens after they go bald. I like it. It’s the closest to a lullaby on the album. My wife suggests adding a lullaby if you have one up your sleeve.

    Liver and Onions
    • I like that this is on the kids album. It leans more toward the adults because of its sentimental nature, but it gives words to some childhood emotional experiences. That’s good.

    Things I’ve Never Seen
    • The kids really like the banana peel and the deer crossing. The 4-year-old thinks it’s funny that there’s “a Bible verse” in it about Zacchaeus and Jesus. I think the line about Trump is funny and I don’t object to it staying, but it’s so specific to a passing political situation that I doubt its staying power. If I could come up with an alternative that rhymes with Luvern I would offer it, but nothing has come to me yet. It seems to me that this song out of all of them blends some elements that are specifically for adults and other elements that are specifically for kids, while other songs have more lines that can be read for both adults and kids.

    Owl In The Hollow of the Tree
    • This is my favorite. Robins frequently hop on our grass and peck their heads in the dirt for worms. It’s beautifully mundane and relatable. We don’t have much for owls around here, but I love the verse. In the second verse, the rhythm of “when she finds one then she brings it to her nest” is great. Please keep that. At first I thought the third verse was still in progress and you just released the demo that way while you’re still working on the verse about the woman going on a walk. Then after a few listens I realized the verse was finished, and I like it this way. I don’t know why her day is very fine, but the pleasantness of the owl and the robin are enough contextual explanation to satisfy me. My wife wants to know what the heck is making her day so great though!

    1. Alex, these comments are above and beyond. They’re like helpfulness on steroids! Thank you. Give all your kids high-fives from me and tell Julia I’ve noted the open loop I’ve created by not saying more (or anything) about the woman having a very fine day. 🙂

  2. Aaron, I love this album. And I don’t usually like kids albums, haha. I don’t have much technical feedback to give, but I’d love for Bob August to be in the music video someday. I’m looking forward to hearing the final product. Keep up the good work

  3. First of all,love this Album great work.
    As a musical artiste you want everything you put out to be of perfect quality.In this case,and im not saying children cannot distinguish between good and bad music,but are children really bothered about a guitar slightly missing a chord a drum just missing a beat-the sound just not quite right in one speaker or the other.So to me this Album should be recorded in the Best format of them all,stand up to the mike and sing live.Just my thoughts.

    1. Mick! So glad you wrote. You make a great point. As for a live record, that’s something I never considered, but I agree that there’s a purity in that format. Hmm…you’ve got me thinking.

  4. More from us after Elora listened to the last three songs. She liked all three of them. She may be biased. She likes to listen to Uncle Aaron. I agree with Caleb that the songs are possibly as enjoyable for adults. Kudos.
    And then, listening to the Owl in the Hollow song again, the last verse seems to be missing something. Like it skipped? I love the chorus. 😊 No surprise.
    I delivered the hug to Elora. 👍🏻

    1. Nothing wrong with being biased if it’s toward Uncle Aaron. 🙂 The last verse of “Owl in the Hollow” is missing the back half of the structure. I intentionally did that — so, no it didn’t skip — but I’m glad you mentioned it because it’s worth looking at again. Thanks for the honest comments.

    2. Aaron,
      I love it! It is playful, fun, nostalgic and wonderfully reminiscent. I’m hesitant to even give any “feedback” because, well, you’re the professional here, so even though I’m nervous to share here goes!

      I love humming, and you do it really well, but there is something missing or flat in the opening humming/chorus of Picture Day. The humming on Things I’ve Never Seen, and on Owl in the Hollow however is amazing,it feels full and complete. I wonder if adding another voice or two to the opening humming part of Picture Day would sound good? Maybe like a small choir of hummers? With the opening kids cheering yea, I almost expect a choir of voices there.

      I’m so glad you are making music like this, it’s amazing on so many levels, thank you!!

      1. Alisha! Thanks for your bravery. Love these comments and I agree about the humming in “Picture Day!” The kids cheering in the beginning is a sample (a recording by somebody else, used by permission), so I’m still debating how to make that “proof of concept” work better. I may put out a request for parents to record themselves with their and kids singing along. I’ll be in touch about that. Thanks again for voicing your (awesome) thoughts. – ae

  5. Aaron,

    First, I love the whole feel of this album. It’s great for kids, yes, but it’s also great for the parents. It’s not annoying like A LOT of kids music. Also, love the banjo.

    Here are my thoughts:

    Picture Day – “I liked it. I liked the whole song.” – my 5yo daughter. That bassline is dope, very Paul McCartney of you. And I like the kids singing. At 2:37, there’s a clicking on the right side that’s a little distracting – sounds like maybe the acoustic?

    Bob August Traffic Report – Nino mentioned the kick is off, which I agree with. I think it’s behind a bit. The random piano bangs and harmonica sounds are nice touches, like car horns. And yeah, the spacebar hit at the end, but it’s a demo so I get it.

    Time To Get Dressed – Delay on the tambourine! Nice. What if you added your kids’ responses to these lines, because you say “wait what’s so funny?” and “mmhmm” and “Ok that makes sense.” Unless you were imagining it like a TV show that leaves a space for the kids watching to respond.

    Tire Swings – my daughter was ballet dancing to this so that’s a good sign. Also, I really like this one – super creative idea for a song. The syncopated rhythm is perfect.

    Liver And Onions On Teusday – I think I saw someone say this, but there is static happening in the background. I also saw someone say this might be too sad or something like that, but I think it’s important for kids to understand mellow or bittersweet-sounding songs can be great too, and that it’s good to feel all the feelings. It’s not a dancing song, but not every song should be a dancing song or else music would be one-dimensional and boring. Just a thought.

    Things I’ve Never Seen – this one made me smile. And my daughter was bobbing her head. What is that synth/accordion sound? Great sound. And I agree with someone else here that said your kids could be talking/laughing during your talking/laughing part.

    Owl In The Hollow Of The Tree – maybe the catchiest one on the album with the la-la-la’s – my 3yo son was bobbing his head and trying to sing along. I like the reverb on your vocals, and I’m a sucker for samples in songs.

    Overall, I really like this project. Thanks for opening yourself to feedback!

    – Caleb

    1. I need to call on your feedback more often! Thanks for the details and letting me know your kids’ reactions as well. As you suspected I wrote“It’s Time to Get Dressed” sort of Blues Clues style, where there’s a pause to to get kids to engage, but I think it needs developing. Really appreciate your thoughts on “Liver and Onions.” I’m blending harmonica with a Wurlitzer for that sound on “Things I’ve Never Seen.” 🙂 Thanks, again!

  6. Elora’s Review (and my notes)
    1. Picture Day – “Good” (love the kids cheering at the beginning. Can’t wait to have my friend Jacque listen to this one.)
    2. Traffic Report – “I’m going to teach this one to my kids.”
    3. Time to Get Dressed – “Uncle Aaron is pretty silly.” (I like the way you did this…talking to whomever is listening. I think it actually works!)
    4. One Tire – “I like swinging.” (One of my favorites.)
    Elora had an accident after the fourth song, but here are comments from me…
    5. Liver and Onions – another one of my favorites. The double “way” describing the coffee kind of bothered me at first. Not sure it’s a big deal?
    6. Things I’ve Never Seen – interesting and makes me want to think of other things I’ve never seen.
    7. Owl in the Hallow – this was my first listen, and I need to hear again. Was trying to figure out what was going on with the background sounds at the beginning. The rest was great.

    This is going to be a great album!

    1. Kids give such great feedback. Give Elora a hug for me. These comments from you are helpful. I never thought about the “way, way” part, but I think I agree. – brother

  7. Love this music! Very simple, approachable and not loud and noisy. Not likely to get kids wound up too much, even the upbeat tunes. Love the lyrics of “Time to Get Dressed.” Shoes on my face? 🙂

    I know you will tweak balance and clean up spacebar clicks and static as much as possible (Nino made helpful comments). I look forward to the finished product!

    1. “Not likely to get kids wound up too much, even the upbeat tunes.” – Sheri

      I think this is my favorite thing anybody has ever said to me about anything I’ve ever done. 🙂 Haha…I love it. Thank you. – ae

  8. Follow-up notes!
    Liver and Onions – there’s static noise going on in the background. Can’t be ignored.

    1. Yeah…I agree. I’ll most likely rerecord that if I can’t solve it with software. I’m using a Dean Markley pickup in my grandpa’s old guitar. One of those that fits in the sound hole. The pickup has a bad cable. I like the sound of it, but the buzz, you’re right, is a problem. Thanks for the follow-up notes! – ae

  9. Pretty solid tracks so far! Here’s some of my thoughts (mostly just nitpicks to an otherwise great sound!)

    Picture Day
    • Absolutely a fan on the spoken words bit! The part after the bridge, “Still talking about grandma’s fridge” sounds kind of low. would love it better if it’s more front in the mix.

    Bob August
    • 0:31 – the kick is off-beat by a fraction.
    • Harmonica car horns and piano is still my favorite thing ever! 🙂
    • 2:04 – there was a clicking sound that sounded like a spacebar being pressed.

    Time to Get Dressed
    • the piano in the chorus could be louder. I feel like it has a good movement between the lyrics
    • 2:10 – the 2nd layer of vocal isn’t synced with the main. creates a kind of bouncing echo sound.

    One Tire Said to the Other
    • Love with beat at the chorus

    Liver and Onions on Tuesday
    • Really like the sound in general, but I’m feeling a little too emotional (for a kids song). Like Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah

    Things I’ve Never Seen
    • Big thumbs up!
    • Just an idea, would it be neat if you had your kids giggling during the “non-cartoons slipping on banana peels”. So it feels like you’re talking to em.

    Own in The Hollow of a Tree
    • I would prefer the looping sample in the intro to be just one continuous sample since you already have the owl howling sounds.
    • The reverb’s a little loud on the “big eyes follow you and me…” in the first verse, compare to the 2nd verse where the reverb isn’t as noticeable.
    • 2:23 the decay on the background sounds kind of long.
    • Just another idea, after the bridge I’m kinda imagine a viola part harmonizing with the la’s. (or maybe that’s too much)

    1. These notes are pure gold. Love the detail. Most of the sonic issues we’ll address in the final production phase of things, but your ears and intuition are spot on, so I’ll be hanging onto these comments tightly. I really appreciate your thoughts on “Liver and Onions on Tuesdays” because I’ve wondered that myself. I may try it in present tense to see if that changes things enough. We’ll see… Thank you, sir! – ae

      1. Awesome! “Liver and Onion” lyrics are perfect to me. Maybe just the feeling it gives me? Right now, it feels very nostalgic and reminiscent. Maybe you could do funny words, like say “Yuck, oh eesh, the smell of that dish” in a disgusted way? or try a piano waltz so it’s a little bouncy.

        But these are just a suggestion. Hope what I’m saying makes sense 😀

  10. Aaron, I love these! They are so fun and joyous to listen to and then listen to again and again!
    Thanks for sharing them with me. I can’t say I have a favorite but “Picture Day” (on Grandma’s fridge, eye level, forever) and “Owl in the Hollow of a Tree” are my first stand outs.

    1. Thank you, Jean! This is helpful, and it makes me happy that you noted the “grandma’s fridge, eye level…” line. – ae

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