A New Age music fan once told me that: «I love this genre, but instrumental music is not for me. I need a vocal, a human voice that can tell me what to feel and how to respond.» I’m sure many people feel the same. If this is something you can relate to, I recommend the music of White Sun. On their albums we get to experience the magic of yogi mantras. On Friday 26 August White Sun is set to release their second album, simply called “White Sun II”.
“White Sun II” can be pre-ordered on iTunes.
This Los Angeles-based band consists of Gurujas (Vocals, Harmonium), Harijiwan (Gong) and two-time Emmy winner Adam Berry (Guitar, Keyboard, Bass). We also get to hear Mamadou Diabate on Kora, Abhiman Kaushal on Tabla and Gabe Witcher on Fiddle. There’s even gospel singers here, but more about them later!
White Sun has a unique style. If you are listening with headphones, it is like other sounds are being blocked out. They use a heavy reverb effect to create «a room» of sound. It keeps you focused on the music and the expression. It is a very nice effect indeed.
First song is called “Gobinday Mukunday”. It has a warm and colorful atmosphere, and Gurujas’ vocal is our guide. Yogi mantras are, according to the description, «sung with a penetrating vibratory musicality that enhances consciousness and awareness while delighting the senses.» After just one song it is clear that this is more than music. It is meditation and healing too, all in one effective package. You listen with your body and soul.
“Ajai Alai” is more thoughtful. The kora’s sharp sound combined with vocal and keyboards are just amazing. The almost 6 minutes long piece is gone in an instant. The feeling of time just disappears. It could go on for an hour and I wouldn’t notice.
White Sun’s music will especially appeal to fans of Deva Premal and Miten, Uma Mohan and Snatam Kaur – or anyone who is interested in mantra chant. But it doesn’t stop there. I would say that even Enya and Enigma fans in search of something new end exciting will find this music enjoyable. The Yogi mantras may sound complex, but White Sun really has an appealing, easy listening sound.
Aap Sahaee Hoa Har Har Har
“Chattra Chakkra Varti” has a wonderful, laid-back melody. It concludes with a magnificent string and electric guitar segment in the end. It has great meditative qualities. Simply close you eyes and White Sun will do the rest. The album continues on a higher note. “Simro Gobind” is happy as a summer’s day, totally carefree and positive. But my favorite song on the album is “Suniai”. It is almost like a lullaby. If you are in need of a vitamin injection, but are afraid of needles and pills, listen to this song. You’ll feel energized and refreshed in no time.
I must also mention that the album contains a beautiful cover by Ganesh Lama. Make sure to buy the CD. Then you’ll get to see the complete artwork.
White Sun has some amazing song titles. Track 6 is called “Aap Sahaee Hoa Har Har Har”. But don’t let the title scare you. Try saying it to yourself, and you’ll see that it is just as much about sound as it is meaning. It is not intricate, it is rich and accessible – even if you are not into New Age chant at all. The same goes for the slow, two part “Akal”. It’s beautiful, just beautiful.
– So what about the gospel singers? you might ask. Well, (spoiler warning), in the end there are two tracks, “Hummee Hum” and “Ik Ardas Wahe Guru”. Almost as a surprise, the gospel singers enter the stage. And what a stunning effect it is! It proves that there is a connection between mantra chant and gospel, which is not that unlikely if you think of it. Both genres are highly spiritual, and their lyrics are about so much more than mere words. “Hummee Hum” is warm and positive, almost like a statement of how cultures can meet in peace and mutual understanding. But the true masterpiece is “Ik Ardas Wahe Guru”. It has a slow build-up. Carefully, carefully the foundation is prepared. A suddenly, the breathtakingly beautiful “Wahe Guru” theme. Gurujas’ vocal and the gospel singers are just out-of-this-world amazing. The song brings tears to my eyes; It is a moment of total harmony. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to the Youtube clips above.
In conclusion: If you are looking for vocal-driven meditation music, “White Sun II” is one of the finest albums available. The yogi mantras, magnificently sung by Gurujas, are extremely powerful. Combined with White Sun’s melodic and artistic qualities, it is a total package. This is much more than an album; It is a high quality mediation tool.
Listening to White Sun, no day will feel gray and cold. It is simply not possible to feel down when listening to this album.
Score: 94/100 – See how I rate music here.