Music has it’s way of making an imprint for sure, gently taking your hand and reassuringly leading you back into your memory bank, nostalgically connecting you with those times when you were sonically swooned. That’s the feeling I get from Zee Avi’s Nightlight.
Nightlight, Avi’s debut into the children’s foray, is filled with breezy acoustic melodies. There is very much a “coffeehouse” vibe to Avi’s style. Even Starbucks picked up on her comforting, soulful sound by including her second adult album, Ghostbird, in their entertainment catalog. A special reward for Avi as the first Malaysian artist to be recognized by the coffee mogul. Although this is only a small accomplishment compared to the many awards she has already received. Most notably, Avi won the International Youth Icon Award and was honored with the Brand Laureate Award for leadership as a singer/songwriter and establishing a successful career in the international music scene.
Over the course of 30 minutes, Avi covers unexpected songs such as the Velvet Underground’s “Who Loves the Sun,” and Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game,” neither of which is compromised in the way of lyrics just because it’s a kids’ album. The integrity Avi maintains while floating over every word is just beautiful. There are songs which are familiar as well such as “Rainbow Connection” and Bobby McFarrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” the former of which is rendered in its own unique way, featuring Avi’s jazzy vocals. Avi also pays tribute to her Malaysian roots in “Nightlight Medly” which is a sweet mix of American and Malaysian lullabies.
Zee Avi’s Nightlight invites you to close your eyes and follow along as the warm glow of her voice lights up your room. This is something every family should have in their collection.
Learn more about Zee Avi in my interview with her here.
Below is a sweet lyric video for Avi’s “Who Loves the Sun,” as well as a Nightlight sampler courtesy of ZeeAvi via YouTube. Enjoy!