By Deva Premal & Miten
featuring Manose and guest musicians Joby Baker and Spencer Cozens
White Swan Records
A good litmus test for a mantra music album is: does it make your spirit soar? Songs for the Sangha, the latest album by mantra music superstars Deva Premal & Miten, passes this test with flying colors.
Exquisitely produced by multi-instrumentalist Joby Baker (whose production credits include the Cowboy Junkies and Tony Childs) the album features a mix of Deva Premal’s melodically rendered mantras and spiritually inspiring lyrics by Miten.
The songs are enhanced by the soaring sounds of bansuri flute, courtesy of Nepali maestro Manose; the rock-solid foundation of Baker’s bass and drums; and UK keyboardist Spencer Cousins’ soothing melodies on a Steinway piano. Together, these musicians have created a melting pot of sounds from India, Nepal, Armenia, America, the Caribbean and beyond.
The seven tracks, which touch on themes of compassion and devotion, include an epic, genre-bending “Om Parameshwara” chant; a swampy reggae chant to the Hindu deity Ganesh; and a stunning “Sarveshaam” chant sung by Deva Premal (and perfect for a long relaxation in Shavasana.) Manose adds a peaceful, otherworldly dimension to “Karuna” with his pure-hearted vocals. The final track, “Draw Near Draw Near,” is a prayerful song featuring poetry by Rumi. Deva Premal & Miten used to sing this song with their late guru Osho at his ashram in Pune, India. It’s a lovely way to close the album. And who knows…you might just find yourself singing along.
Songs for the Sangha is the perfect backdrop for a meditative vinyasa class, a musical meditation, or bedtime yoga practice. It’s prayer it its purest form.