There’s an interesting backstory to this release by Edie Carey, of Chicago, and Sarah Sample, of Salt Lake City. It turns out Carey was in the throes of a two-year struggle with infertility and turned to Sample for support. (She has since had a son.) Sample, meanwhile, had two children of her own and found herself singing to them. She decided that she should record an album that best reflected the experience of motherhood, and roped in her friend, Carey, to help. The end result is simply a very, very pretty collection of low key songs that you can use to lull your children to sleep. ’Til the Morning: Lullabies and Songs of Comfort is quite a beautiful and relaxing listen. And there are some songs here that won’t leave you with a dry eye.“Turn Around”, in particular, a cover about a daughter growing up to adulthood, is simply ... I don’t think I have quite the words to describe it. It aches and yearns, and it’s just one of those songs that will stop you dead in your tracks.
On that note, lovers of pop music may be interested in this release as there are a few intriguing choices of covers. Namely, Carey and Sample tackle Wilco’s “California Stars” from the Mermaid Avenue project with Billy Bragg, featuring lyrics by Woody Guthrie. “California Stars” is probably one of the most memorable songs in the Wilco repertoire, and it would be very hard to surpass that effort, which Carey and Sample don’t. Still, it’s a neat little experiment, and, hey, I’ll support anything that gets youngsters weaned on Wilco. Similarly, their cover of the classic children’s lullaby “All the Pretty Horses” won’t make you forget that Calexico did an adaptation of the track. On the other hand, there’s a version of “La La Lu”, which originated with the Disney film Lady and the Tramp, that’s quite nice. The duo also takes on the Dixie Chicks’ “Lullaby”. Still, at 14 songs and running almost 49 minutes, this is a bit too soft and quiet for its own good, and a few of these pieces could have been lopped off. And yet, ’Til the Morning is a thoughtful release that unfortunately comes a bit too late for Mother’s Day. This is quite the intoxicating blend of the sentimental and pensive, and is perfect for new moms and their tiny offspring.