Singer/songwriter Erica Rabner had a unique vantage point from inside the pandemic. Through her “day job” work with children, she could see how youngsters of all ages were suffering – and not just physical ailments brought on by coronavirus. She developed two separate releases for different age brackets on the new 8 Pound Gorilla recording label – The Covid Album, which was released earlier this year for toddlers and younger tots – and the brand-new We Got This for their older, preteen brethren.
Excited by material she collected from conversations with children (used in seven interstitial messages scattered throughout the CD), Erica finished We Got This, top to bottom, between December 2020 and January 2021. The title track became the catchphrase between her and producer Brian Blake as they literally willed the music into existence. The year 2020 was a traveling adventure for Rabner, who traded her New York City for a car and moved cross-country. The tracks for THE COVID ALBUM were recorded in a closet in Austin, Texas.
Erica decided to use a different approach for We Got This. Your heart breaks listening to children expressing their thoughts on anxiety, loneliness, social media, and looking for ways to remain positive. The 10 songs relate to and amplify the complexity of these emotions, especially when parents – expected to always have the answers – frighteningly are a different breed of superhero, are are the essential workers who kept society moving, thanked in the opener, “Stronger Together.”
Fellow 8 Pound artists Genevieve Goings (“Highlights Reel”) and SaulPaul (“Be The Light”) deliver inspirative vocals on songs about seeking optimistic in the middle of pandemic fatigue and looking for silver linings instead of dwelling on the worst aspects of your current situation. “Slack” gives children permission to just be themselves and “Zoom” addresses the comical, frustrating side effects of remote education:
How can I concentrate in class on Zoom when Jason’s sister’s always crying?
How can I focus when Maya says her Internet is down again but we all know she’s lying?
It bears repeating that children’s music is not strictly for children. With songs like “Be the Light” and “Brand New Day,” Erica Rabner finds optimism inside the darkest year in your family’s lives. There’s a warm, fuzzy friendliness that makes “we got this” another three-word slogan worth teaching your children.
Erica will perform a selection of these new songs at the National Head Start Association’s “NHSA in the Classroom” virtual musical event on Tuesday, April 27, reaching thousands of students nationwide. She will represent Sparkler and Noggin (Nick Jr.’s learning app) as part of the new Big Heart World initiative, which involves several partners focusing on early childhood education and social and emotional learning during these challenging times for kids.