Cash-strapped Nissan Records an Album

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
cash strapped nissan records an album

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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2 of 14 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 11, 2020

    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?

  • Car Ramrod Car Ramrod on Feb 11, 2020

    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.

  • Analoggrotto Over the years GM has shown a keen interest in focusing their attention and development money on large, expensive or specialized vehicles and little to no progress in developing something excellent to complete with such class leaders as : Camry, Telluride, Civic, CR-V, Highlander, Accord, or even ho hum Corolla. And this is the way class division works in the heartland/rustbelt: pretend to care for the common man but cater the public resources to additional security and comfort for the upper echelons of society. GM is Elitist American Communism.
  • Art Vandelay Current Fiesta ST
  • Jeff S Buick Lacrosse and Chevy Montana compact pickup.
  • SCE to AUX Demand isn't the problem; expenses and cash are. With under $4 billion cash on hand, the whole thing could sink quickly. Lucid has a 'now' problem.In contrast, Rivian has $12 billion cash on hand and has moved a lot more vehicles, but they are pretty extended by building a second plant. Rivian has a 'tomorrow' problem.Going up the food chain, Tesla has $22 billion cash on hand plus positive margins. No problems there.
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