Ever since Shine and the Moonbeams turned an entire room of kindie-music industry folks into speechless putty at Kindiefest 2011, I’ve been anxiously waiting the release of their first full-length CD. When you consider that lead singer Shawana Kemp’s voice is featured on three of my top five kindie songs of 2012, well, that should give you an idea how ridiculously happy I am that the wait is over.

Shine and the Moonbeams CD on Cool Mom Picks

And if Shine and the Moonbeams is new to you, keep reading to find out what makes their sound so special.

[Win a free copy of this amazing CD: details after the jump]

Shine and the Moonbeams‘ soulful sound on their self-titled album gets its oomph from one-time Sony music artist Shawana Kemp, who pursued an education degree after becoming a mama. Lucky for us, she decided to combine her love of music and education to write and perform genuinely uplifting, positive-message music–first when working with kids in underserved communities, and now for everyone.

Shawana Kemp on Cool Mom Picks

Kicking off with some bright Latin horn and funky guitar, The Melody in Me celebrates the music that we can all make. It’s an excellent, exuberant song to sing along with in the car, or just to play as you bop around the house. With more of a rocking sound, Imagination encourages unplugging from everything to take a road trip of the mind–wise and welcome words for the lazy days of summer.

Shawana’s lyrics also encourage kids to remember that there’s a big world out there that stretches far beyond the four walls of home, as in Kilimanjaro, which isn’t just about travel. Shawana’s experience as an educator shines through in Bully Bully, which uses the Wooly Bully melody to rail against mean kids. She belts this tune in a way that’ll have you grabbing a hairbrush and singing along.

There’s plenty of lightness and playful fun on the album too, as she wonders sweetly Do You Ever Stop, and in the crazily catchy counting song Shake for Eight. Then things mellow out in the loungey Shine that could sound at home in a lounge at 2am on a Saturday night…although you may prefer to play this one in the nursery instead.

Bravo, Shine and the Moonbeams! Your CD was definitely worth the wait. –Christina

Download a copy of Shine and the Moonbeams’ self-titled debut album from our affiliate Amazon. 

Congratulations to Kristi D!  She won a copy of Shine and the Moonbeams’ new CD.