Falling asleep to music has always been difficult for me. I always listen to the music, singing along in my head, analyzing the musical themes and measuring the song against the rest of the artist’s catalogue. Next thing I know, it’s 1:30 a.m. and I have 10 different earworms in my head.
But Kate Rusby is different. Her music is a lullaby. I doubt most people would consider the ability of one’s music to put someone to sleep to be a compliment, but it’s not as if she’s trying to rock. She takes old English poems and puts them to melody, and the result, set usually to an acoustic guitar, sounds like a young maiden crooning in the king’s court some 500 years ago.
Rusby’s voice sounds young, heartfelt and innocent – it’s not the strongest voice you’ll ever hear; in fact, at times it quivers with uncertainty. Her Yorkshire accent is apparent and welcoming; after all, the dialect has roots in older languages such as Old English.
Put these things together, and you get a soothing, comforting sound that embraces you. Rusby brings down your defenses, calms your fears, and soon your eyes grow heavy as you enter a relaxed state. And that’s not a bad thing at all.