“Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch,” Debasish Mridha said. Listening to the debut album of Curaluz, the healing qualities of music seems like an undeniable truth. “Kewere” is a surprisingly accessible and easy-to-like release that soothes the modern, over-stimulated psyche. Unlike many (if not most) medicine/prayers albums, it offers an enriching listening experience “out of the box”. I found that Curaluz offers a sound that I didn’t even know that I was looking for, but after first listen seems as essential as water and breathing.
Born and raised in Germany, Samashti’s musical journey has been influenced by devotional, jazz, and traditional Brazilian music. Through working with meditation and plant medicine, she sings from a place of inner presence, always with the intention of simply channeling the divine. Steve O’Connell is a dedicated music producer from Oakland, California, who has worked in many genres collaborating with artists to help create music that speaks to the soul. He is a member of the heavy metal band Vannon and is producing hip hop acts while being a full-time member of the New Age band Curaluz.
The album opener, which is also the title track, has a fascinating introduction. The music seems to come from somewhere deep down – and intuitively, we understand that Samashti’s beautiful vocal is the voice of Mother Earth herself. The layered vocals, both male and female, accompany Her – and the message is comforting and encouraging. It might sound like a cliché, but “Kewere” makes you listen with your soul. But don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself:
After such a brilliant opening, “Canto De Oxum” gives time to breathe and think. It is a song dedicated to Oxum, the goddess of divinity, femininity, fertility, beauty, and love. There is the sound of water in the background; Oxum is also the river goddess. It is an extremely well-made song in terms of sound design. The ambient melody develops slowly, with an almost “organic” feel; It grows. There is no other way to describe it. The layered vocals, gentle guitar, and textures create a soundscape so vibrant that even a dark room feels illuminated. The song is six minutes long but take my word for it; time flies while listening.
The album is available on Bandcamp:
“Kewere” is perfect for meditation, thinking, and creative work. “Janaina” has a lovely touch of Brazil, right down to the percussion and electric guitar. It is danceable, but that goes without saying. I love the part in the middle; it is passionate, intricate, and highly rhythmic.
The album offers a very consistent atmosphere. It almost plays as one, although each song has a distinct meaning. Nature and wildlife are important topics here, which “Passarinho Verde” is an example of. You can hear the wonderful green bird singing at the end. Talking about wildlife: “Cobra Coral” is as colorful and thrilling as the snakes the song is dedicated to. The song contains some truly spectacular sound design.
Nearer the end, “Brilha, Brilha” seems dark – but there are some rays of lights too that twinkles, especially Samashti’s vocal – who guides us through the darkness.
My favorite song on “Kewere” is the album-closing “Oxum” (which is not a repetition of “Canto De Oxum”). It takes about two minutes before it really starts to get interesting, but it is well worth the wait. The theme is breathtakingly beautiful; it moved me to tears the first time I heard it. The song has everything, from electric guitar, violin to some exotic steel-string instrument (a dulcimer perhaps). Its atmosphere is larger-than-life and highly meditative. I have had this on repeat for hours, and I never get tired of it. Bravo!
In conclusion: As a music reviewer, I have found that it is unproductive to praise debut albums too much. It takes time for a band or artist to find their sound. But “Kewere” is a different kind of debut album. Its expression seems finished; all that is needed is already there. Indeed, after the first listen, I went straight to Curaluz’ Spotify profile to see if they had more albums available (but sadly no, we will have to wait a while for that). “Kewere” is a powerful yet totally unpretentious release that captures the best of two worlds; inspiring and enigmatic medicine music with a hyper-modern yet unpretentious soundscape. The album is for anyone who needs an effective and healing time-out. Looking at the state of the world, I would say that we all could benefit from “Kewere”.
For more information and music samples, visit curaluz.com