Music to the Rescue

Posted in Small Discoveries

Small Discoveries Saturdays is a series of journal entries on SCOUT’s site where we shine a light on the little tips and treats that we have found help make pregnancy and parenting go a bit smoother.

This month: A mesmerizing album you and babe will both love

In the months leading up to the birth of our daughter, we found that planning an introduction to music—seeding a vinyl collection and mapping out playlists—helped counter all the various pre-baby yips and anxieties. Emmylou, Allison, and Gillian, of course. Willie then Waylon, right? Would more Stones than Beatles affect SAT scores, but ultimately result in greater strut and grit? Jazz…is jazz irresponsible? What will be the very first song this infant hears!? We need more Sam Cooke. Sounds of Silence too sad? Big decisions, but we relished the responsibility. It’s something controllable and beats daycare comparison spreadsheets. In the haze and ultimate elation after a long labor, we’re fairly certain it was a Bob Marley deep cut, hours into a shuffle that first introduced our baby G to song. Unscripted and perfect.

The Watson Twins | Pioneer LanePersonalities show early, and we had ourselves a spirited lassie from day one who’s often too excited about the world to sleep. During those first weeks of walking endless circles around our house trying to soothe her, we did most of the singing, a mix of our own made-up lullabies and my husband’s mysterious draw to an obscure antebellum spiritual and Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.” When we’d turn it over to the stereo, we happily discovered that The Watson Twins’ album Pioneer Lane was a mesmerizing jewel. No matter the discomfort G is up against, she willingly submits to the enchanting and warm lulling powers of the twin sisters’ songs. It’s become a crucial element in our sleep routine and a lifesaver on the road when she’s had it with the car seat. We’ve uploaded the CD to every device we own so we’re always armed. There’s probably a book or pediatrician out there that would advise against creating such a dependency, but, you know,
it works.

Fortunately, we enjoy the songs as much as she does. There’s plenty of “kindie” mush out there that’s marketed as kid music that parents won’t hate, but much of it doesn’t pass the smell test. Pioneer Lane rings true for the whole family (including pets!) and is like the Peanuts comic strip of music. The poetic imagery touches on simple yet profound themes like changing seasons and friendship, and the mostly acoustic instrumentation and melodies are tinged with nostalgia without going saccharine. They’re mostly happy tunes, but never silly. Content. The sisters’ harmonies, well, they’re twins! Kentucky-born and now residing in Nashville, they have an impressive catalogue and resumé that includes collaborating with the likes of My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Jenny Lewis, Jessie Baylin, and a whole bunch of other great artists.

One day we’ll take G to one of their shows though she’ll probably get rowdy and demand More Pioneer Lane! We just snagged a couple more copies as gifts from Nashville’s beloved Grimey’s. Do The Watson Twins and your local record store a solid by purchasing a physical copy of this album—and get (a little) sleep!