CD Review: Dayaal by Sirgun Kaur

The first time I heard Sirgun Kaur’s new CD, Dayaal, as each song came on I proclaimed it my favorite. By the time I’d listened to all 7 tracks I realized that they all can’t be my favorite—so I immediately replayed the entire CD from the start. My conclusion: there’s not a weak song on the entire album, and there are some that are so good that they’ll become staples in your playlists.

If I really had to pick a favorite, my personal vote would go to Kal Akaal. The tune is catchy—to the point that I have been looping it on my IPod for several days now.  The mantra, which is one you don’t hear all that often, reminds us of our nature that exists beyond death. Trust me when I tell you that after listening just once, you’ll find yourself chanting it for a long time after it ends!

I also really love Namo Sooraj, which is one of two traditional Sikh prayers that were written by Guru Gobind Singh that are on Dayaal. While many listeners will find this shabad’s lyrics complex, the beautiful chorus will inspire plenty of sing-along opportunities. And you can find the words—which are from the longer Sikh prayer Jaap Sahib—along with a beautiful translation, on the CD jacket.

Ma is a haunting repetition of this single-syllable mantra that invokes the Divine Mother. On this one, Sirgun weaves in some soothing instrumentals, creating a relaxing and calming experience. In the singer’s own words, Ma is all comfort, all support, all mercy, all kindness and all love. Listen and feel it.

Another simple but beautiful song on Dayaal is Sirgun’s version of “Guru Ram Das.”  Sirgun explains that when we chant this mantra, we open up our hearts to receive the miracles waiting to be realized in life. As you listen to this song, you feel the singer’s absolute faith and belief that miracles will manifest.

“Dayaal” means compassion, and the title track on this CD evokes this spirit. The lyrics come from a Sikh prayer written by Guru Amar Das:. Trust in the Guru and things in your life will work out. This song is an example of Sirgun’s incredible range as a singer.

One of the things that makes Sirgun unique among many musicians in the Kundalini Yoga world is that she started her career as a singer-songwriter who wrote about her failed relationships and other not-so-uplifting themes. When she transitioned to kirtan, Sirgun continued to weave her original lyrics into her songs—though now she reminds us of the power of the spoken word to elevate rather than drag us down.

The final song on Dayaal invokes Sirgun’s creative and personal past. “The Music is Always There (Sa Ta Na Ma)” takes us on a fascinating and inspiring journey with this talented singer-songwriter: “There was a time I didn’t listen so well…every time I almost fell, the music was always there.”  She then brings us back to a mantra: Sa Ta Na Ma, the cycle of life, death and rebirth. It’s a beautiful composition that really works.

Sirgun Kaur is a young artist early in her career. As you listen to her marvelous new CD, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that she’s definitely a singer to watch. As she continues to compose and create, I look forward to enjoying many more CD’s like Dayaal.

 

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