Itty-Bitty Review: Hello Night - Kesang Marstrand

HelloNight.jpgUnlike any other lullaby album you'll hear this year, Hello Night is the creation of New York-based singer-songwriter Kesang Marstrand. It's buoyed by Marstrand's simple songs, spare accompaniment, and her delicate, beautiful voice. Especially her voice, which is clear and just about perfect for an album like this.

Many of the songs -- all original -- on the album take inspiration from the natural world, from the opening tracks "Dandelion" and "Carry On Crickets" to songs like "Cocooned In My Blanket," in which the snuggled child thinks of becoming a butterfly. (I also particularly liked the placement of "All the Little Children," about all the adventures the not-yet-sleeping child could have with the singer, at the end of the album.)

If you listen to the 37-minute album repeatedly in the light of day (an occupational hazard of reviewing music), you may tire of the relatively narrow range of song styling and guitar accompaniment. (One of the most welcome tracks is "Rest," which unlike the other songs, features Marstrand accompanying herself on kalimba instead of guitar.) But that's not a huge concern with lullaby albums, designed as they are to be listened to in the background (or subconsciously after falling asleep), for which radical changes in style are not to be wished for.

The album is obviously most appropriate for kids age 0 through 4 and their weary caregivers. You can listen to samples here and here. Families who have found a spot in their record collection for the mellow music of Frances England and Renee & Jeremy should give Hello Night a spin. It's an album you could spend many nights with. Recommended.