In this installment of New Music Tuesdays I bring you the latest in lullaby albums for hip parents. A few years ago we had the Rockabye Baby series featuring music box like arrangements of popular rock bands (Pixies & Radiohead were popular in my house) and while clever and effective they were not records you’d necessarily enjoy away from bedtime. Now the well respected Indie Rock label American Laundromat Records has started a sub-brand called ‘Indie For Kids’ to cater to the children of parents who grew up on and still love creative Independent Music. Their first offering is a collection of suitable quiet songs from a pool of ever expanding Indie artists titled Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies.
Not since the Hippies of the 60’s grew up have we had so many parents who are sharing good music with their children. Having spent the last fifteen years in the music business I’ve tried to instill in my kids a love of all kinds of music. Add to that a Mom and Grammie who both sing and play music regularly and they’re practically surrounded by it. From the very beginning my kids have gone to bed listening to ‘night-night’ music. Over the years as they’ve grown older the selections have changed from Disney Lullabies to the aforementioned Rockabye series. Once in a while I try to sneak in Coltrane’s ballads or some Bill Evans to mixed reviews. Last night I played Sing Me To Sleep for them and the initial reaction was unexpected. My older son is 10 and spends some time reading in bed before lights out. A few minutes into the CD he came out and asked if he could turn it off, needless to say I asked why? “I’m reading a terrifying book and it’s hard to read a terrifying book with this beautiful music playing.” We agreed to leave it off until he was done. This morning I asked what he thought of the rest of the album and he admitted he didn’t make it past song three before falling asleep, so we know it’s effective.
Sing Me To Sleep features an eclectic mix of covers from artists like Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses, The Breeders, Belly) who performs a sparse piano trio version of the Mancini/Mercer classic ‘Moon River’ to Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) covering Kate Bush’s ‘Cloudbusting.’ Be sure to get the limited edition first pressing which includes seven extra CD tacks including songs from Erik Satie(!) (‘Gymnopédie No. 1’ by The Coctails) and The Violent Femmes (‘Kiss Off’ by Say Hi) as well as a bonus blue 7″ with two exclusive songs, pins, a poster, download coupons and a chance to win a personalized copy by you favorite participating artist. You can purchase the regular and limited editions directly from the label at the link below.
You may be buying this for your kids , but be prepared for it to become one of your favorite releases of 2010. Feel free to sneak the CD out of their room after they’re fast asleep so you too can drift off with it.
As if this were not enough 100% of the proceeds are going to The Valerie Fund to provide care for children with cancer and blood disorders.
About the label:
American Laundromat Records (ALR) is an independent record label based out of Mystic, CT. We’re best known for producing tribute compilations but have begun working with excellent indie artists such as Julie Peel, Dylan In The Movies, and The Caulfield Sisters. We earned praise for our 2008 charity record “Cinnamon Girl – Women Artists Cover Neil Young For Charity” which to-date has donated over $35,000 to Casting For Recovery, a national non-profit support and educational program for women who have or have had breast cancer. Other ALR projects include our Cure tribute “Just Like Heaven – a tribute to the Cure”, and our 80’s tribute “High School Reunion – a tribute to those great 80’s Films!” which All Music Guide called “One of the finest tributes ever amassed!” Artists who have contributed to ALR projects include; Matthew Sweet, Dean & Britta, They Might Be Giants, OK Go, Stars, The Real Tuesday Weld, British Sea Power, Tanya Donelly, Kristin Hersh, Frank Black, Lori McKenna, Veruca Salt, Jill Sobule and John Doe, The Submarines, The Wedding Present, Mogwai, and The Dresden Dolls.
About the Charity:
The Valerie Fund’s is a non-for-profit organization with a mission to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. We have 8 locations and treat approximately 5,000 children and families each year, translating to over 35,000 patient visits.