It’s that time of year again! A time filled with anticipation and excitement for the recording arts industry. As the 58th Annual Grammy® Awards get closer, so does the annual children’s Grammy nominees benefit concert. This event is always exciting as it brings a rare opportunity to see award-winning artists from around the U.S. perform under one roof. And it’s open to the public! For families looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift this is a sweet treat to indulge in for the little music lovers in your life (and for yourself, really).
This year’s list of Grammy® nominees for Best Children’s Album is unique because all five are independent artists representing a nice variety of styles including jazz, indie-pop, folk, and even bilingual Latin American. See below for more info on the artists, as well as a special Grammy playlist! Continue reading →
Since I became a parent, there have been so many times where I wish I could siphon out my memories at the end of the day and have them automatically recorded. I regularly feel compelled to stop time, and thankfully I have successfully done so with the click of my camera’s button. As my daughter got older and moved into a busier phase of her life – walking, running, jumping, biking, – life seemed to move faster than I could keep up with. Frances England‘s 2013 release, Blink of an Eye,has invoked great nostalgia, reminding me of my obsession with creating memories.
England has been recording gentle, acoustic melodies that capture the wonderment of childhood as it appears and is felt through the perspective of a child. Since her 2007 debut, Fascinating Creatures, each song has consistently been delivered with beautiful emotion, winning over the hearts of many grown-up listeners, as well as kids.
Blink of An Eye is filled with songs that create a vision of togetherness. My favorite tracks, “Day You Were Born”, “The Sun Will Shine Again” and “Salt Water Swirl,” gorgeously illustrate the awestruck relationship and tender bond between parent(s) and child(ren).
Sometimes music provokes a physical and emotional reaction and this album strikes a chord in both categories. The warmth of England’s soft voice is akin to the feeling of the sun shining on your face as you are cradled, buoyantly, in a lush, grassy field.
Typically, England’s sound is acoustic. For Blink of an Eye, England recruited the masterful Dean Jones which is made obvious by the “kitchen sink” rootsy and eclectic accompaniment on many of the songs (most notably “Blink of An Eye” and another one of my favorites, “Move Like A Saturday Night”). Elizabeth Mitchell and Molly Ledford of Lunch Money also lend their talents in ways that enhance England’s unique sound, ultimately creating achingly beautiful harmonies. “Bicycle Built For Two” is a perfectly paired collaboration between Ledford and England.
England’s fourth album to date, Blink of An Eye, captures the sentimentality and sweetness of being a parent. Just as a mirage offers temporary wonderment, so do the fleeting moments of childhood. Thankfully, England reminds us of those precious memories in this album.