Redefining what it means to rock a baby to sleep, American Laundromat Records (ALR) recently released its latest compilation, Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies, on May 18. A show featuring kindie songs performed by album contributor Tanya Donelly is planned for June 13 at Joe’s Pub in New York City, starting at 12 p.m.
The 14-song album features classic and modern-day children’s lullabies as envisioned by The Leisure Society, Donelly and other indie-rock stalwarts. Sigur Rós’ song appears on a special sold-out limited edition, and another version includes seven bonus tracks. All proceeds from the album’s sale will go to The Valerie Fund, a non-profit group that benefits children with blood disorders.
Donelly will be backed by a full jazz ensemble and supported by fellow lullaby artists Jenny Owen Youngs and Julie Peel. This all-ages, kid-friendly party will include face painting, free souvenirs and door prizes for its younger attendees. Families who receive care as part of The Valerie Fund plan to attend. Limited tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children under 12 years old and available only through www.joespub.com. On May 15, super-psyched kindie kids danced and sang along to songs performed by The Leisure Society and The Real Tuesday Weld as part of a promo show for the album at Union Chapel in London. Donations totaling $530.00 were collected for the NSPCC, a UK charity committed to ending child abuse. Future show dates are being scheduled in the U.S. and Canada and will be announced on the album's website, www.indielullabies.com, and the label’s site, www.alr-music.com.
While the tracks range from recognized classics like The Muppet Movie's "Rainbow Connection" sung by a sweet-toned Trespassers William to Breakfast at Tiffany’s “Moon River” softly rendered by Donelly, the album’s novelty also lies in the unexpected choices. Stars’ cover of the Smiths’ "Asleep”, Casey Mecija’s iteration of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” and the Coctails’ version of Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie No.1” (on the bonus version) are a few that are making Sing Me To Sleep a pioneer in setting new classics for tots.
"’Rainbow Connection’ is such a beautiful song, both sweet and sad, which is the best kind of song,” said Anna-Lynne Williams of Trespassers William. “It really appealed to me, to record something that was meant to be listened to by both children and adults.”
Album co-producer Kate Garchinsky conceived the idea for Sing Me To Sleep and then pitched it to ALR label head Joseph Spadaro, who immediately saw the potential in the project and tapped his wide artist roster to contribute. The pair decided on The Valerie Fund as the project’s beneficiary because they liked its grassroots nature and its focus on family-centered support.
"Many of our artists have little ones of their own. Their enthusiasm for the exploding ‘indie for kids’ genre is evident in the playfulness of their recordings," said Garchinsky, citing recent profiles of Brooklyn’s Kindiefest and the growing kindie scene in Time and the New York Times.
Besides the regular release, ALR stocked a special first-pressing limited edition that’s now sold out, which was limited to 250 and only available from the label’s website. It was accompanied with extra CD tracks, a bonus 7" blue vinyl featuring songs by Sigur Rós and Donelly, pins, and a commemorative poster.
Check out the Sing Me To Sleep: Indie Lullabies' Website
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