music in our home (and a playlist for you!)

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it’s probably the biggest cliché when it comes to falling in love, but music for sure played a huge role in our love story when josh and i were dating. i remember how we bonded over our love for specific bands or artists, songs and lyrics.  and long before the dating days, music played such a significant role in both of our lives since we were little, so it’s been such a fun experience introducing our own little ones to much of the music that shaped and continues to shape our lives.

when i was little, my dad had a piano AND a huge organ in our front living room. the organ had all sorts of gadgets and buttons, and he was always messing around on it playing the funnest stuff since it could make crazy sounds and beats. we’d have dance parties with all my siblings (and a lot of the neighborhood kids) at least once a day. it was the norm in our household growing up. and if my mom wasn’t blasting the soundtrack to les miserables or cats, we had all of the furniture moved to the side of the rooms and we were choreographing our own dance routines to everything from country music to opera.

i love having music playing in our home, and i’ve made a point to get a lot of bluetooth speakers around the apartment in different rooms so we listen to a lot of our favorite music with the kids throughout the mornings and evenings together. something is always playing quietly somewhere. josh actually made a playlist with over 200 songs from everything like frank sinatra to queen to radiohead to van halen to belle and sebastian. there’s stuff on there from the last of the mohican’s soundtrack (Samson’s request), to dan deacon (I’M OBSESSED), to a few of our favorite concertos, blues and jazz standards. i pulled 80 of the songs from this huge playlist into a spotify playlist for anyone else interested in listening along (it’s also embedded at the end of this blog post)! i know many of you have asked when we have music on in the back of my instagram stories or when we’re in the car on road trips, who the artist is or what the name of the song is, so hopefully this is helpful!

last winter, josh got eleanor her own little CD player and within a few days, she knew the chorus to sabotage by the beastie boys and i was like, “wait. what?!” but i do think a lot of this music is full of so much inspiration and escape and power, and it’s never too early to introduce them. after all, she was only 9 months old when we took her to her first concert (beirut in richmond virginia), so in our opinion, i guess it’s never too early.

while we listen to the majority of our music now through our digital playlists, sometimes it’s fun to pull out all the old CD’s, have the kids pick one, and play it for them. we’ve been trying to condense all the old CD’s but we still have two big books of them, which we hold onto for whenever we rent a car so we can bring them along and listen while we drive. we let the kids DJ which means in-between every song we play, we have to play anna by will butler for conrad, because he can’t get enough of that one and requests it all day everyday. ;)

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above are about 80 songs from our big playlist we created for the kids! (i don’t think the entire playlist shows up here, you might have to click into spotify to play them all.)

what are you guys listening to these days, and what are you kids loving when it comes to music?

  1. Megan

    This record has been on repeat at our house:
    It’s songs all about our work and vocation. My kids favorite song: “Father, Let Your Kingdom Come” My favorite: Wood and Nails. The videos are beautiful too!

  2. Jessica

    We have the most intriguing playlist over at our place with a lot of overlapping songs from yours as well. My husband was in a couple of punk bands and I was in an orchestra, and studied the viola for about 10 years. Most of the songs on my phone are orchestral arrangments because in college, it was the only way to get any work done. We can’t wait to see what our girls lean towards as they get older.

  3. Dani

    So cute, as always, loved this post!

    My father in law is actually the bassist for cake, so it was funny to see that album pictured in there!!!

    Can’t wait to check out your Playlist!


    • josh

      UMMM>WHAT?! That’s so cool, Dani! Please thank him for working so hard and sharing his talents with the world!

  4. Sarah

    Naomi, whose painting is that on the wall? It is beautiful!

  5. Lauren

    I feel like a persons taste in music tells you lot about them so this post is so interesting to me. Just like your family, my boyfriend and I love to listen to a range of different artists! A few of my favourites are…

    DCFC, The Shins, Borns, Ho-Ro (for a bit of Scottish ceilidh music!), Amos Lee, Jose Gonzalez, Coldplay, Edward Sharpe, Dire Straits, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ludovico Einaudi…I could honestly go on and on!

    My favourite song at the moment is Feel it still by Portugal.The Man – its so catchy!

  6. I love this! I enjoy music, but I have a hard time curating and tend to listen to the same things over and over. But I’m with you on wanting to expose little one to all sorts of music–her favorite right now at 18 months is “hands clap” by Fitz and the Tantrums! Thanks for sharing your playlist–we will for sure being hitting play on that this evening.

  7. sally mae

    Are you obsessed with Future Islands yet?!?! I can’t stop listening!! Also, your jeans are super cute!

  8. Abbi

    K I’m loving all of your classical recommendations. The “La Campanella” is quite literally blowing my mind. Some favorites of mine are Piano Sonata No. 20 in A Major, D. 959: 3. Scherzo by Frank Schubert and The Emperor Waltz, Op. 437 by Johannes Strauss. Thanks for the playlist!

    • josh

      Right?! I was trying to find a word to describe it. I’d have to go with “entrancing!” Play it loud!

  9. Janja

    My 4-year girl loves Perfect World by Katie Melua (probably because of the cute video ;-), No Roots by Alice Merton and Papaoutai by Stromae. When she was 2 she was “obsessed” with church bells and therefore admired these video: – all songs are about churches.
    And your playlist could actually be mine :)

  10. Emily

    Dan Deacon! So happy you like him too :)

  11. Quinn

    wowwwww your brother’s piano music is incredible!!!!!! brought me to tears! <3

  12. Kerryn

    This is one of the best posts you have done in ages. So helpful and unique. Thank you

  13. Erin

    I’m Conrad–such a good song! I just clicked over to that post about Eleanor’s first concert, is Kingsley still in DC with your family?

  14. This playlist is amazing! And I love that you still have all of your old CDs. Mine got tossed in the trash after I got my first iPod, but now I kind of wish I still had them.


  15. Those CD books are taking em back to my childhood! Haha love all the songs in the playlist – excited to listen along!

  16. Raquel

    Nice to see a Brazilian song on the list…Muito bom!

  17. Kellie

    I’m loving y’alls playlist. I’m trying to create one too that has a variety- so a lot of The Black Keys, Of Monsters and Men, Earth, Wind, Fire, etc…..

    Although during the day I typically play a disney playlist for my students. They really love it (and let’s be honest, I do too)!!

  18. Melissa

    Music played a big part in our relationship! My husband was actually in a band when we met ( he was really rude to me), he was signed to a record label and everything, if he wasn’t in the band I don’t think we would have ever met and I would have told him off, making him interested in me. We got married soon after, got baptised in the church and had a baby! We love your music taste.

    • josh

      Cool story, Mel!

  19. Gabriella

    So glad I can listen to it on Spotify. Over here it’s all the rage, but I don’t know how well used it is in the states. I’m always so bummed out when people (understandably) use other services, but it’s just so convenient (in my case), to listen to another person’s playlist on Spotify.

    Ps – I’d love it if you could share a Christmas playlist around the holidays! Your choice in music is always so on point!

  20. Alison

    Thank you for the list! With three kiddos who love to dance too, I’m always looking for new music.

    We looooove Lake Street Dive! So so so good. Their lead singer, Rachel, has a great voice. They live and Brooklyn and Rachel plays at local bars/venues on the side in a Jazz duo. Makes a great date night!

  21. Checking out this playlist! I love music! My husband really loves music (and actually has talent in it…unlike me lol) all four of our children’s names come from songs..they all love hearing and dancing to their somg. 💛

    • josh

      I love this idea! What songs?

  22. Meagan

    I’ve already started listening to Christmas music! No shame over here!

    Otherwise, I like listening to Frank Sinatra, Thomas Rhett, and John Mayer!

    Also, a great movie about music is “Sing Street” on Netflix, such a sweet love story set in Ireland all wrapped in a music! Love it!

  23. Luizo

    Since we found out your blog, we had also our first child (a girl) and we were like omg they are kinda like us, the things you we’re into and the things you love to do together. My wife and I have a lot of playlist depending of the mood for both or each one of us, lately we have been listening to this but in between songs we add some artist to queue that we remember, oh land, grimes, citizens. A lot! it is hard to make our playlist because of all the genres that we love that as you guys, music and concerts brings out story to the beginning .

    Greetings from guadalajara

  24. Shelby

    I love that Postcards from Italy is on this playlist. I remember the short film you and Josh did I believe before Eleanor was born. That film introduced me to Beirut—so thank you!

  25. Stine

    What a lovely playlist with lots of me and my family’s favourite music. At the monent we also listen a lot to First aid kit and Father John Misty. Also I would recommend the American indie band “Whitney” if you don’t already know them. And we always listen to The Beatles – can’t get tired of them and our 3 year old daughter loves them as well.

    Have a lovely fall

  26. Virginia

    This makes me so happy!!! Knowing that your kids have incredible music taste in multiple genres, and that Eleanor’s first concert was Beirut. Noticed there was no James Taylor, though! October Road is a great Fall album, just sayin’ :)

  27. Kim

    No way! My fiancé and I literally bonded over music in school, which is what led us to our first date! It was supposed to be a concert, but it got canceled, so instead we went to the park. So music definitely plays a huge role in our relationship! Can’t wait to listen to your playlist tonight/or at work!

  28. K

    This is going to sound totally nuts, but could you tell me about clear side panels you have for that air conditioner?! Genius! I’ve never seen that before, it looks so much cleaner than the usual accordion style, and would love to figure out how to replicate.

    • josh

      Yeah! It was one of the very first things we did when we moved in. They are plexiglass and caulking. You can just unscrew the plastic accordion sides. Hardware stores should have the plexiglass. But be careful because the city and/or your landlord may require you to have any air conditioner installed by a “professional” to make sure it doesn’t fall out the window and hurt someone.

  29. tamara

    Hallo Naomi,
    Thanks for all the nice music! I really needed this! Much inspirations and I’m finally going to discover more Regina Spektor, I don’t know her that well.

    There is a Dutch singer,called Janne Schra, who I think you’ll really enjoy (most of her songs are in Eglish).

    You should search for: ‘Room Eleven’ (jazzy/popband she started her career with), then she started singing under the names of ‘Schradinova’ and later under her own name Janne Schra.

    Complicated, but it seems like your taste ;)
    Thanks for sharing, and also: enjoy the new appartment, it looks beautiful and happy!

  30. How fun that you were able to include your brother’s music!

  31. Anna

    I loved the Christmas albums y’all posted for a couple of years — good stuff.

    We listen to SO much since we’re always writing & playing but I’ve been especially obsessed with a 1974 Robert Palmer album “Sneaking Sally Through the Alley”…Sailing Shoes is one of my favs.

    Will It Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston is a fun one, too.

  32. Susanna

    Amazing playlist – thanks for sharing! :-)
    Music also plays a huge role in our family, my husband and me talked about and listened to a lot of music when we started dating and our love for music still connects us nowadays (more than 30 years later…).
    The Beatles, U2, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Deep Purple, Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis… just a few of our favorite bands. Our 22 year old daughter is very much into Bob Dylan, Regina Spektor and Queen.
    I always love to discover new bands and currently I’m really obsessed with Berlin band Beatsteaks. If you’d like to check them out… this is their current album: Their lyrics are mainly English btw ;-)

  33. misty

    Our son at age 3 LOVED “How it ends” by DeVochtka. Love that song! Recognized most on your list. Good stuff