Getting a good night’s sleep is key to maintaining your sanity amidst a global pandemic. That holds true for all ages—children can suffer from insomnia as well, as days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months. Short-term and long-term memory becomes a blur for youngsters. It becomes essential to keep yourself grounded in order to keep them grounded. For very young children, you need distractions that don’t amplify the world outside, such as thematic, age-appropriate music.
Into that mix comes Sara Lovell‘s Night Life, a deceptively-named collection of calming-down songs and bedtime lullabies. Sara covers all facets of the evening process, from tantrums (“I Don’t Want to Go to Bed”) to parental exhaustion (“Sleepwalkers”) to letting kids drain all the remaining energy before slumber overwhelms them (“Wear Yourself Out”). She also addresses the importance of fantasy and imaginative play, especially when children are told to stay inside in order to stay safe, with “I Don’t Sleep in a Bed,” imploring youthful listeners to picture their bedrooms as tents and other settings.
Lovell has a spiritual side to her music; she stresses to kids that what we can’t see in the dark is not necessarily evil. There’s enough scary stuff in the daylight and her tunes, such as “Lullaby For Grownups,” very gently insist “it’s time to settle down, as the sun goes down.”
Through it all, Night Life is about the comfort and safety of sleeping under the covers, under the stars, under the watchful protection of loved ones. In the time of COVID, that’s a sweet, wistful message that Sara Lovell didn’t necessarily intend to convey with some solemnity. But that’s the mantle currently thrust upon the music.
Here is the video for Sara’s song “The Dark Side of My Room”: