Rockmommy Renee Stahl Shares How She Balanced a Baby AND a Music Career (and How You Can Too)

By Renee Stahl

One question many women ask themselves is, “How can I have a career and a baby?” That was something going through my head almost 13 years ago.

I didn’t think I would be able to balance the two. I didn’t think it was possible. I was clearly wrong.Renee Stahl

I had just finished making an album entitled hopeful.romantic that was picked up by Barnes & Noble, and was asked to go on tour playing all over the country in their stores. My solo career was going well; the thought of interrupting that didn’t feel good to me.

As soon as I decided that it might be OK, and with a little help from my level-headed husband that I could indeed have both . . . POOF, I was pregnant.

My career opened up in a way I never imagined.

Before I became a mother, a friend had suggested that my voice would be a nice fit for singing lullabies, so I reached out to friends who had written a few originals. Jeremy Toback was one of them. He came over and played “Welcome to This World,” a love song he had written for his oldest son. I told him there was no way I could sing that as it was perfect the way it was.

Renee and Amelia

Renee Stahl with daughter Amelia

We decided to work on some songs, most of which ended up being written while I was on unexpected bedrest at 35 weeks with my daughter, Amelia.  When I was free to move around, we recorded them in her nursery two weeks before she was born. That was the album It’s a Big World, a collection of unconditional love songs to our children.

I know that sometimes as mothers, we feel guilty and selfish when we take time out for ourselves. Making my music and self-care are musts for me. I have to do both in order to come back and parent more fully, more present, and fulfilled.I hope to be an inspiration to my daughters, not only with the music, but also in how I approach it and my life. It’s not as easy for me to parent if my creative cup isn’t full. Like they say on a plane, “Make sure your oxygen mask is on first.”

As I was working on Kindred, my latest album for my Renee and Friends project, I pulled out some songs I had written a long time ago that I was considering“Superfragile World” was one of them. Amelia heard me singing this and began to sing along with me. It occurred to me that it would be better for her to sing this as a solo; the song started to take on a different meaning coming from the voice of her generation. Her voice and phrasing really amaze me on this song.

Along with this, she sings a duet with her sister, Isadora. They cover a song from our Renee and Jeremy album C’mon, called “Rely” with strings, and it’s one of the sweetest  things I have ever heard.

I am beyond excited to share their voices and talent along with other special guests we are featuring on the album. Kindred will be released in early 2019.

Renee Stahl’s next album, Kindred, will be released in early 2019. The record features guest artists Lisa Loeb, Elizabeth Mitchell, Chris Stills, and Ziggy Marley.

Kids Imagine Nation Gives High-Energy Vibes to ‘Christmas Time’

by Marisa Torrieri Bloom

I’m a HUGE friend of Christmas music, and have heard probably every popular Christmas song ever made, from the likes of Bing Crosby and Brenda Lee to Mariah Carey and — of course — Alvin and the Chipmunks. I love hearing all of the cool versions of the classics; every song takes me back to when I was little and my dad used his analog cassette recorder and handheld mini microphone to make annual carol recordings.

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Kids Imagine Nation’s ‘Christmas Time is Here’ 

And so it was with a caroling lover’s ear that I listened to kindie rock trio Kids Imagine Nation‘s new collection of seasonal ditties. And I was definitely not disappointed! ‘Christmas Time is Here,’ available for download on iTunes since Saturday, is filled with high-energy songs inspired by the trio’s high-energy live shows, plus a dose of holiday mirth.

[RELATED: The Most Danceable Kiddie Record for Ska- and Punk-loving Parents is Coming in September] 

The much-anticipated follow-up to Kids Imagine Nation 2 is infused with the ska-meets-surf-pop spins on classics like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Deck the Halls” that you’d expect from Aaron, Rachel and Beatz (incidentally, Rachel sounds a lot like Brenda Lee). I thought I was revving up for a Mighty Mighty Bosstones tune during the opening riffs of “Up on a Housetop;” I thought I was hearing Ziggy Marley’s opener while listening to “Gift of Giving,” a song about kindness tucked within a cool ska guitar rhythm. 

Download it now for the road trip to Grandma’s (or the mall) with the family. Or jam out solo with your bad self.

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the founder and editor of Rockmommy.