When I find out someone close to me is expecting a baby, this is what I do: I find an adorable card, go find their registry, purchase something for them, and then I sit with a glass of wine and go through all my own baby’s newborn pictures and cry to myself at just how little babies are, how time flies and how powerless we are to stop it.
Basically, it’s an existential crisis, only with wine. And maybe an episode of The Bachelor(ette) playing in the background.
Now, let us compare that to what Jessica Risker did when she found out her brother and sister-in-law were expecting a baby. Risker decided she wanted her little niece or nephew to experience lullabies in a new way, so she wrote 20 new lullabies that can be played on a little music box (you can watch a lullaby played on the music box here).
Then, because apparently she wasn’t feeling productive enough, she won a 2016 artist grant from Chicago to record these lullabies onto an album.
The resulting album is titled Soft Moons: Twenty Lullabies.
After a year and a half, I thought I had heard all the variations of every lullaby, all the pop/rock/alt songs that were made to sound like lullabies and then all the lullabies again just for good measure. This album is actually something different. It’s sweet without venturing into saccharine. It’s calming but not boring. The lullabies are short yet somehow all flow into each other. Add the fact that a Chicago-grown artist created this, and my melted heart became even more of a puddle.
In our house, we found Soft Moons to be perfect wind-down-post-dinner music. If the album had existed when my little one was still itty bitty, (you know, the size he was in the photos I stare at whenever I commence my existential crises) it would have been playing on repeat in my house. This album is a beautiful work of art and supports a local artist to boot. What could be better than that? (Other than, say, an actual sleeping baby.)
Soft Moons: Twenty Lullabies can be purchased as a disc or a digital download. The digital download also includes a 20-minute white noise track at the end.
Risker can be found around the city performing with her music box. Check out the album’s Facebook page for more information.