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Kesang Marstrand - Hello Night

Naptime Music At It's Best!

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Kids Music
Courtesy North Node Records
Kesang Marstrand's kids' music debut album is touching and playful, mysterious and warm, and is certainly one of the most beautiful lullaby albums you'll ever hear. Hello Night deservedly finds a place amongst the best kids' music of 2009.

The Artist

Marstrand is an NYC-based singer/songwriter whose debut album of grownup music, Bodega Rose, was released in 2008. Her initial CD of self-penned folk tunes displays none of Marstrand's Danish or Tibetan roots, but Bodega Rose is just as captivating as Hello Night: you just gotta hear her slow, somber version of the Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson duet "Say Say Say."

The Music

With simply her voice and acoustic guitar, Kesang Marstrand creates 12 perfect examples of "Naptime Music," tunes that encourage relaxed contemplation rather than a comotose state of slumber. Marstrand's breathy vocals give you the sense that she's on the verge of telling you a cosmic secret, which, combined with her fingerpicking style, brings to mind kids' music star Frances England, early James Taylor, folksinger Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention, The Strawbs, Fotheringay), and singer/songwriter Nick Drake (particularly on the tune "Carry On Crickets").

Hello Night is full of pastoral scenes of water and wind, flowers and insects, setting suns and rising moons. Highlights include the absolutely beautiful waltz "Hush;" a song called "Rest," on which Marstrand trades her guitar for a kalimba; and the James Taylor-like title tune, which could accompany Margaret Wise Brown's classic picture book Goodnight Moon.

The album is painted with lyrics like "wrapped in a blanket of starlight and moonbeams / it's bedtime in our sleepy town" ("Sleepy Town"); "how lovely it is to wonder and wander / in the land of dreams ("In the Land of Dreams"); and "don't be fooled by sounds of the wind / wildflower seeds are scattering / and even when the clouds form, even in a big storm / your bed is safe and warm" ("Among the Green Leaves").

The Verdict

Beautiful, tender, and full of dreamy imagery, Hello Night should be on everyone's "must hear" list despite, or maybe because of, the fact that it's a "kids' album." A prime example of the power of simplicity, Kesang Marstrand's debut children's album is definitely some of the best kids' music of 2009.

Released September 1, 2009; North Node Records

Track Listing

  1. "Dandelion"
  2. "Carry On Crickets"
  3. "Hush"
  4. "Sleepy Town"
  5. "In the Land of Dreams"
  6. "Cocooned in My Blanket"
  7. "Listen to Your Heart"
  8. "Among the Green Leaves"
  9. "Hello Night"
  10. "Sleep Tight"
  11. "Rest"
  12. "All the Little Children"
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