Strawberry Wind 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,” and now singer/songwriter Jessie Baylin, whose music the Associated Press declared as “Lush thoughtful pop music...[That] plays on the mind like late afternoon sunshine filtered through layers of gauze,” is sharing that creative outpouring on her debut children's album, Strawberry Wind.
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 notes. I wanted to do an album that felt like that. It gave me the bug," she says.
The New Jersey-bred, Nashville-based artist found even more inspiration after giving birth to her first 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.
Once she started writing, the songs just flowed out of her.
Though the album overall is warm and enchanted, Baylin doesn't shy away from telling it like it is. Weaving through the lyrical themes of dream life, super moons and summertime vibes are some gentle doses of reality.
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 beginning April 6, 2018.