Singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin will be releasing her new children’s album, Strawberry Wind, on April 27 (Amazon Music). Pre-order here: http://geni.us/strawberrywind?track=noisetrade
Strawberry Wind, produced by Baylin’s longtime collaborator, producer/songwriter/musician Richard Swift (The Shins, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Nightsweats, Foxygen), not only delivers on a promise to create an honest album for kids and parents, but it represents what Baylin calls the “beautiful divide,” of juggling family life with her creative life, a difficult task by any measure.
“The divide in me is easy to feel because I invest 100% of myself into my family and often the creative get’s put to the side,” she explains. “So when I decided to begin writing for this album it just poured out of me.”
Baylin, who’s released four critically-acclaimed albums over the years, says the seed was planted for this project after contributing a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “He Needs Me” from the film Popeye to the Amazon original playlist Amazon Acoustics. “The song has a childlike sense, but the message is very deep. It’s magical, it’s dark, and it hit all the right notes. I wanted to do an album that felt like that. It gave me the bug,” she says.
It’s quite a departure from her last record, 2015’s Dark Place, which NPR Music described as “stunningly thoughtful tenderness.” “Writing Dark Place began with a premonition of what was to come, and what followed was fear and many challenges that were put on me as a human being, so creatively I completely shut down – and Dark Place was a devotion to my pain,” admits Baylin. But the beautiful thing about life is that it will force itself on you whether you are looking for it or not, and according to Baylin, “it pulled me out of the darkness – leaning into my family was part of that and it showed me a new landscape and helped me get back in a forward motion.”
The New Jersey-bred, Nashville-based artist found even more inspiration after giving birth to her first child.
“Since becoming a mother,” she explains, “I found myself being around the house a lot, and I started gravitating to these wonderful older albums to listen to with my child — The Beatles, John Lennon, Roger Miller, Harry Nilsson’s The Point!, and Carole King’s Really Rosie. I realized that people aren’t making albums like that anymore, and that really inspired me to go down this new musical path.” Mother to now four-year-old Violet is expecting her second child due spring 2018. “Little did I know while recording Strawberry Wind that I was pregnant with my second child.”
The magic of those iconic ’70s records she mentions is that they’re all grounded in solid songwriting and were never dumbed down for the audience. “Those records feel very honest and that was my mission here. I also wanted it to feel magical and remind people of the child inside all of us that is filled with a sense of wonder and pure joy and hope,” she says.
Immediately upon first listen, Strawberry Wind sounds like a wonderful new Baylin record. Her trademark emotive retro-pop vocals shine through, her inherent moody musicality is present and her ’70s Laurel Canyon/Brill Building writing prowess is front-and-center. After closer listens, one finds that there’s more of a playful, carefree and delightfully childlike sensibility on the tracks that overflow with a sense of joy, wonder, and excitement for life that speaks well to children.
Strawberry Wind is being released as an Amazon Original album, available exclusively for streaming on Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music, and for digital download or physical purchase through Amazon Music. A vinyl LP will also be released on Baylin’s own imprint Blonde Rat in association with New West Records to both Amazon and independent retailers.