10 Feb New Social Justice Songs the Whole Family Should Hear
by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
On Sunday, family music collective Alphabet Rockers won the “Best Children’s Music Record” Grammy with their upbeat, thought-provoking album The Movement. And from what we’re seeing, the win is reflective of a broader and more important trend: family music that’s less about bath time, and more about social change.
[SEE RELATED: ALPHABET ROCKERS’ KAITLIN MCGAW ON MOTHERHOOD, MUSIC AND CELEBRATING DIVERSITY WITH THE LOVE]
Yes, this is the beginning of a new era.
Take NYC family music artist Esther Crow’s latest single, “The Leader in You,” which features Father Goose Music and the kids from Kare Afrika Orphanage in Uganda, and centers on a message of empowerment atop a catchy, retro-pop beat. Produced by Grammy-winning engineer Dean Jones, the song calls for children to “dig deep” to make the changes that are necessary to make the world a better place [stream it here].
“These kids are incredibly musical,” says Crow, who asked the kids to sing on the track because of their talent and because Uganda is ravaged by the climate crisis, a cause to which she dedicates much of her time and energy. “They received a donation of wind instruments from the UK and learned how to play full songs in under three months.”
Another new release centered on social justice issues comes from Ants on A Log (the duo of Julie Be and Anya Rose): Make it Myself. Among the topics tackled in the 14-track record: inclusion, feminism, gender justice, racism, and environmentalism — presented in a thoughtful, often humorous, way. The big idea: a record that offers families launch points for meaningful dinner table conversations.
One highlight is the pretty singalong “They’re My Best Friend,” originally released on the collaborative album “Trans & Nonbinary Kids Mix.” It’s reportedly the first song with exclusively nonbinary pronouns to be played on national radio stations. The song “Had to Stand Up” tells the story of a child who stands up for a new friend after witnessing racism on the playground.
Happy listening, everyone!
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.