Prema Hara is a rising star in the Sanskrit yoga music world. Their first album, Sweet Surrender, was released last year and quickly became a favorite of many. While Kamaniya and Keshavacharya, the sweet duo behind Prema Hara, have been teamed up for a relatively short time, they both have vast experience making music and leading kirtans. Kamaniya has sung with Girish, Gaura Vani, and Jai Uttal, to name just a few. Keshavacharya was immersed in sacred mantras during his time living as a monk, and is an accomplished musician on his own. Together, Prema Hara makes some of the sweetest Sanskrit yoga music you’ll ever hear. Their new album, Tears of Love, is overflowing with the nectar of their devotion.
The album opens with “Prayers of Gratitude,” a hauntingly beautiful offering of opening prayers. Kamaniya and Keshavacharya’s voices come together so beautifully and so sweetly while singing these invocatory prayers. The next track, “Bajarangi Hanuman” has a lovely back and forth between Kamaniya and a female choir. The front half of the track, like “Prayers of Gratitude” is slow and sweet, and then it picks up tempo into a really fun kirtan with a choir. This track really flows like a live kirtan, starting slow, picking up tempo into a nice crescendo, slowing down a moment to catch your breath, and then ending on a wonderful high note.
“Mahayogi by Srikala” is a spoken word piece about Shiva which leads into the next track “Shiva Vibrations feat. Srikala.” Srikala is a “conscious rap” artist from New York, and contributes his own unique sound to Tears of Love. “Shiva Vibrations” has almost an islands feel, and you may find yourself dancing along during this fun interplay between Srikala and Prema Hara.
“Tears of Love,” the title track, opens with beautiful and mysterious flute playing. Kamaniya starts out singing the maha mantra alone, and then Keshavacharya answers. It brings to mind images of lovers calling out to one another, separated but joined together in their longing for each other. In the end their voices come together, and you realize that they were longing not for each other, but for Krishna and his intoxicating flute playing. “Devakinandana Gopala” is a perky and upbeat track, and brings back the voices of the choir earlier on the album. The vocal arrangement is really fun to listen to, and in the end splits into two sections allowing the listener to pick their favorite chant line while singing and clapping along.
At 14:03, “Seek the Essence (Hare Krishna)” is the longest track on the album, and takes you on a glorious journey. First it has the warm, soothing vibe that Prema Hara is so good at creating. Then it moves into a slightly more urgent or intense vibe, really trying to help the listener connect to what is being said. The instrumentation is beautiful, incorporating strings, piano and some wonderful percussion. With this track, Prema Hara has created, in my opinion, one of the most captivating and exciting modern versions of the Hare Krishna mantra imaginable.
The final track, “Shiva Shavasana” will make you want to do yoga just so you can put this song at the end of a playlist and allow Kamaniya’s beautiful voice to lull you into a delicious yoga nap. It’s a sweet and strong ending to a sweet and strong album.
Prema Hara’s Tears of Love is an incredible follow-up to their first album. It is sweetness and devotion taken to a new level, and an auditory feast of love and beauty. With Tears of Love, Prema Hara has secured their place as one of the greatest new Sanskrit kirtan groups today. Prema Hara is on tour now, and you can find out more about their schedule at www.premahara.com and check out their wonderful music on www.spiritvoyage.com today!
Liz McCollum Lord
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