By on February 10, 2020

The year was 1981, and the frazzled mother of yours truly found herself behind the wheel more than usual. This writer was apparently screaming and bawling like a 21st century voter, and the only way to get him to conk out was to bundle him into an increasingly corroded Plymouth Volare and hit the lonely backroads of rural Canada, unsure of whether that Slant Six would stall at the next four-way stop.

It’s a situation most new parents find themselves in — and, save adoption, it’s the last legal resort to getting a screaming child to knock it off, especially now that most food safety agencies don’t allow alcohol-filled gripe water. As powertrains go electric, however, the driving experience is beginning to change.

Worried that these child-lulling drives might prove fruitless in a model like the Leaf, Nissan has recorded an EP to accompany the trip. I’m listening to it now.

It’s as gimmicky as marketing efforts get, yet it exists. The album is called Nissan Leaf Dream Drive: The Zero-Emission Lullaby, and it’s apparently aimed at the 60 percent of new parents who say they hit the road when the wailing gets to be too much.

It seems Nissan engineers worked with Tom Middleton — a sound designer and sleep coach whose name sounds like a Hollywood actor who married into the Royal Family — to replicate “the peaceful sound frequencies of a humming combustion engine.”

“When looking at why parents put their faith in this method, Nissan discovered that 70%  of parents put their trust in the power of the vehicle’s movement, when in fact it is the soothing sound frequencies of an internal combustion engine (ICE) that is the biggest contributor to a child falling asleep in the car,” the financially troubled automaker stated.

That makes EVs less useful for the task, despite being a greener driving choice. If you’ve ever been — or ever known — a new parent, you know that socially-conscious considerations go out the window when frayed nerves and sleep deprivation are at play. A friend once drove her F-150 four hours one night to get her daughter to hit the hay.

Enter the album, which contains five appropriately named 3-minute tracks followed up by two 15-minute continuous mixes. It exists on YouTube, Spotify, and other platforms, and a parent would only need to bring their smartphone along to tap into the tunes (because of standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, get it?!?).

The album apparently incorporates in-cabin sounds recorded in a Leaf, along with orchestral accompaniment and the aforementioned ICE frequencies. Distinct inverter whine can be heard through all five tracks, with the steady thrum-thrum of wiper blades (accompanied by background road noise) also appearing at random intervals.

One assumes the baby needn’t be in a Nissan Leaf for the music to work its magic, though it would probably help if they were.

What isn’t stated in Nissan’s communications is that the automaker’s attempt to paint a dreamlike aural landscape clearly resulted in a stoner album. Just not one of those murky, disturbing ones.

[Image: Nissan]

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14 Comments on “Cash-strapped Nissan Records an Album...”

  • avatar

    “clearly resulted in a stoner album.”

    Gosh, where was Nissan when we needed them? Could this have replaced Pink Floyd albums when we were tripping….?

  • avatar

    Chevrolet issued an album years ago to stop the aggravation mentioned above. . “The Dark Side of the Monza”. . .

  • avatar

    My dawg done left me.
    My wife is out da doh.

    I was once young and handsome.
    Now no one wants me cause I’m poh.

    My lots are filled to the brink
    And now I am left to sink…

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Not their first album I think. The old 80’s talking Maximas used a small record to tell you your lights were on, you left your keys in the ignition, and other alerts. I have heard that the back side of that record contained a recording of the Nissan song or something, but have never had the occasion to tear one apart and see for myself. Perhaps Murilee can grab one from the junk yard one day, but those cars have got to be pretty thin on the ground nowadays.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Actually back in the 60’s some of the manufacturers use to give new car buyers an LP record album with a new car and during the 70’s an 8 track tape and then in the 80’s a cassette tape.

  • avatar

    I know motoring lulls children to sleep because my son pretty much grew up traveling but if you allow a screaming child to cry itself out they’ll learn the lesson and no longer scream…..

    No damn night lights or open doors either .

    A good parent isn’t a nanny .

    You have to teach them to be independent and self sufficient .


    • 0 avatar

      Last night, my five month old (who seems to be starting teething) screamed so hard he threw up. The car wasn’t the solution last night, but it is some nights. I agree it shouldn’t be the default solution, but don’t write it off as nannying.

      I’m also not sure how understanding my neighbours would be of the “scream it out” method.

  • avatar

    “Gosh, where was Nissan when we needed them?

    Fixed it for you: Ghosn, where was Nissan when we needed them?

  • avatar

    Just play the 1st 5 seconds of “Living in the USA”
    by Steve Miller and put it in a loop!

    What does it mean to loop a beat?
    Definitions. “Loops are short sections of tracks
    (probably between one and four bars in length)
    which you believe might work being repeated.”

    The child will at first think it’s cool,
    then get bored and fall asleep!

  • avatar

    I would think Brian Eno’s Music for Airports might be usable in those situations also. Actually a white or pink noise generator would probably do the same as a “road noise” track. After all, that’s what road noise is all about. The trick is to have it at just the right level.

  • avatar

    Q: So if mom and dad send their infant out alone for a ride in the autonomous vehicle while they sleep, are they bad parents, or next-level tuned in?

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    This brings me back to when cars came with stereo demo cassettes. My dad’s Mark VII came with one that showcased the wonder that was its crappy JBL stereo. I think I heard “Rosanna” and “send in the clowns” 57 times that winter.

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