Album Review: Essie Jain's Until the Light of Morning

Album Review: Essie Jain's Until the Light of Morning

Richard Popovic
Jun 13, 2011

Imagine that your babysitter is a cross between Natalie Merchant and Mazzy Star. It's time for bed, and she whips out a keyboard and a guitar and starts singing. You would undoubtedly float effortlessly into dreamworld, nestled in a cloud of sweet warm vocal goodness. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Give Essie Jain's Until the Light of Morning a listen and you'll find yourself, and more importantly your baby, floating on that cloud in no time.

Essie Jain had me from the first verse of the opening track, What a Big Wide World:

Said the sea to the little fish
"Oh your tail can really swish!"
Said the fish to the big blue sea
"Oh you take good care of me"

It is no easy thing to write music for children which is simple without being cloyingly simplistic, but Essie's lovely collection of songs does just that. The sparse arrangement of piano and guitar allows her warm and soothing voice to take center stage, which is exactly where it belongs. She also engages in a lot of wordless vocalizations, which can sound overly-contrived in the wrong hands but seem utterly natural and effortless here.

Until the Light of Morning is "designed to unwind itself as it goes along, as the music becomes softer and more relaxed, eventually becoming as instrumental as the heart beat." While I understand the concept, the last two tracks are instrumentals that left me hoping her voice would make one last appearance before the train pulled into Sleepytown for the night. But this is a small quibble. Do yourself and your family a favor and pick up a copy of Until the Light of Morning, a beautiful example of what a thoughtful and artful approach to children's music sounds like.

This album, along with onesies and other goodies, can be purchased at Essie's website, or downloaded from i-Tunes and Amazon.

(Artwork: Iker Spozio. Photo: Brock Fetch)

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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