I've always said that parents are jugglers. It takes a remarkable skillset to hold down jobs while taking care of a family. To say that musicians with kids have it "easier" is a fallacy; the creation process may be the same, but try telling a touring musician that their life is "easy."
With that in mind, mother of one (expecting her second) Jessie Baylin is releasing STRAWBERRY WIND, her debut children's CD. And if you think it may be difficult to tour with two kids, imagine the juggling that goes on between her and husband Nathan Followill (of the band Kings of Leon).
STRAWBERRY WIND is a lush throwback to the 1960s sound of Shirley Bassey and Lulu. Picture Twiggy or Dusty Springfield on the set of some Technicolor variety show and you get the idea. Songs like "Supermoon" and "Dream Catcher" present a vibrant, imperial view of the world that's fully attune to what a youngster might picture. And the video for "Dream Catcher" should definitely be seen (below).
"Same Old Tune" could be a cover of a Boyce/Hart Monkees' song. "Sparkle Shoelaces" would not be out of place in the background of an episode of "Room 222." And the ethereal "We Need Each Other" is less of an anthem than a wistful plea along the lines of Buffy St. Marie. If these references seem cribbed from a '60s website, well, you get the picture.
More than anything, STRAWBERRY WIND feels less like a children's CD than a curio from another time. Baylin is offering selling vinyl copies through her own imprint, which adds to the mythology behind the music. Akin to Amy Lee's 20116 CD, DREAM TOO MUCH, Baylin's hyper-focus hits the bullseye, but you wonder will it also reach the audience it deserves? That should be one of the more interesting questions in kid's music in 2018.
STRAWBERRY WIND is available exclusively for pre-order through Amazon Music. The CD comes out April 27.
Here is the video for the song, "Dream Catcher":