Author, musician, and philanthropist Lisa Loeb is known for her quirky and off-beat music that can be described as pop that is suitable for all ages. Lisa has appeared in movies ranging from “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” to “King of the Nerds” and television shows such as “The Sunny Side Up Show” (now "Sprout House") on Universal Kids. A children’s book author as well, Lisa is often creatively inspired by her two children.

When not making music, appearing in concert and on camera, or writing children’s books, Lisa designs eyeglasses via her company “Lisa Loeb Eyewear”--sold at Costco and elsewhere--which she started after her long-association with cat-eye glasses.

Moreover, she is also an avid fan of crossword puzzles and even created one--which was published in June of 2017--to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the legendary New York Times crossword puzzles.

Lisa is currently gearing up for a fall and winter concert tour promoting her latest albums titled “Nursery Rhyme Parade!,” "Feel What U Feel," and “Lullaby Girl” -- all exclusive Amazon Music/Amazon Prime releases. Music videos for these titles are available for streaming on Amazon and Lisa's YouTube channel. Lisa has written and performed songs for two Amazon Originals animated series: “Creative Galaxy” and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” In November, a selection of Lisa's songs that she wrote for "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" will be released on Amazon, as well.

Lisa recently discussed these projects and more via an exclusive interview.

Music, albums, and lullabies

Meagan Meehan (MM): Have you been interested in music since early childhood and what memories of lullabies do you have?

Lisa Loeb (LL): I’ve always been very attached to music ever since I was born. I recently recorded “What the World Needs Now is Love,” a song that has always tugged at my heartstrings.

I’m the kind of person that cries during TV commercials, and that same part of me is connected to music. I feel like my earliest memory of a lullaby was a teddy bear with the song “hi li li, hi lo” playing from the wind-up music box inside of it. It makes me feel independent (maybe like I did when I was a baby in a crib?) and calm and centered and safe, and also kind of sleepy.

MM: As a child, what were your favorite lullabies and how, if at all, did those tunes impact your current music style?

LL: I loved the aforementioned “hi li li, hi lo,” I loved “Hush Little Baby,” which I recorded on my “Nursery Rhyme Parade!” album, and also “Rock-a-Bye Baby.” I think the strong melodic center of the songs has always impacted my songwriting and the knowledge that the melody is what sticks with you. As I’ve gotten more experience, I also think that what comes naturally is often the catchiest melody. I’ve always loved the bridge of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” It is such a short song, but it really sticks with me.

MM: Your new album is called "Lullaby Girl" so why did you choose that name?

LL: The album title is the same as one of the two original songs on the album. The song was inspired by my daughter, Lyla, and saying goodnight to her over the phone, while I was in Nashville working. I went straight from that conversation and channeled all of the feelings I was having and the tone of the conversation into an unplanned songwriting session with my friend Clifford Goldmacher. It’s a sweet name, reminds me of my son and daughter, and I feel like I am the “Lullaby Girl” after this album- I’ll help you focus, relax, and maybe even fall asleep to sweet dreams.

MM: How many songs are on the new album and what can listeners expect from their style?

LL: There are thirteen songs that span different eras, styles, and arrangements.

Most are covers that might surprise you as they unfold and you figure out what they are, and two originals written in classic standard style. These are some of my favorite songs from growing up, like “Ooh Child,” “Tomorrow,” “Dream a Little Dream,” and “Rainbow Connection.” I think your dads will like them and grandparents too. It’s really a standards record from all different generations, and it’s very intimate.

MM: Do you have a particular favorite song on "Lullaby Girl”?

LL: I love the song “What the World Needs Now is Love,” by Burt Bacharach. I’ve loved that song ever since I was a young child and listened to it on the radio. It has so much faith and longing at the same time. I love the soul I feel singing it, and I think the message is so important now and always.

Lyrics, songs, and projects

MM: Do you think this album can help adults sleep if they have insomnia?

LL: I think this is a very centering, intimate, and probably relaxing album. This actually might keep them up if they have insomnia because the memories might come rushing in and you’ll also want to hear the next song!

MM: What were some of the challenges you faced while crafting the lyrics and tunes for this album?

LL: The biggest challenge was honing the list of songs. There were so many directions we could have gone with it, and when it got down to it, the most natural way to go with my collaborators, Rich Jacques and Larry Goldings, was the route of songs from our childhood and classic songs more than really traditional baby songs.

That will have to be another record! Also, it was important to create variety within a sub-genre, lullaby, so we really wanted to explore a lot of sounds and production within that seemingly narrow field. I think we did it. Writing the original lyrics actually came pretty easily, once we decided we wanted a classic, standard song like “Close Your Eyes,” and “Lullaby Girl” was a song written with my collaborator in Nashville. I think it’s so easy to listen to and connect to, just like it was when we were writing it.

MM: Are any exciting projects on the horizon and is there anything more that you wish to discuss?

LL: I collaborated with Rich Jacques on composing all the songs for an upcoming animated series on Amazon based on the famous book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” and some of these songs will be released on Amazon in November.

Characters sing the songs in the show, but I sing all of the songs in an accompanying album.

I also debuted some really cool new frames this fall in my Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection, and I’m always on tour, so come check out a show. I also send kids to camp through my Camp Lisa Foundation by the sale of my "Camp Lisa" CDs and Coffee Fool coffee. To get the latest news on my projects, connect with me via @LisaLoeb on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.