Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aradhna - Namaste Sate

Aradhna's new album Namaste Sate is out today. You can find out more details, and listen to some song samples, here.

I will reiterate what I’ve said before. I’m not really a fan of contemporary worship music, but I love this band, and what they do. In a sea of virtually interchangeable worship music, Aradhna sounds like nobody else. Nobody else could possibly sound like they do, because they write out of who they are, and who they are is an utterly unique mixture of east and west. They are Canadians and Americans and Brits raised in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. They love Jesus, and they love India.

And that’s a hopeless mixture that probably dooms them to perpetual obscurity. Most Americans won’t know what to do with a bunch of hippies in weird robes who sing in Hindi, and most churches won’t touch them because Hindi sounds a lot like Hindu, and we can’t have that. But at some visceral level that can’t be fully articulated this music touches me in ways that no other worship music has ever done. It reaches me at the level of Miles Davis and Sigur Ros and Van Morrison, pretty much my holy trifecta of worship musicians. It goes deep down.

I would like to say that this is worship music for people who don’t like worship music, and I suspect that will be true for at least some portion of those who hear this album. But it’s also simply glorious music. It’s quiet and contemplative at times, other times bursting with the kind of pent-up passion that Sigur Ros delivers at the end of those long, glacially slow buildups. It’s soul music in all the best senses of the term.

I suppose, in the interest of full disclosure, that I should also admit that I’ve done some PR work for the band. But I’m first and foremost a fan, and I assure you that I’m not writing these things because I’m compelled to do so in any business sense. I’m writing them because I think they’re true, and I hope, as a fan, that more people will discover this marvelous music.


Jeanette Uddin said...

Andy, you said it so well that there is hardly a word to say. I liked some of the Indian show tunes when I first heard Indian music, but never the worship. I have told Chris that I truly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in their music. It does touch deep down into the soul not using the same words we hear in worship music today. It is lovely and sweet and passionate. Your music reflects God's loving heart.

Michael Knepher said...

I picked up their first album after you wrote about them before, and love it. It's also my 7-year-old daughter's favorite album right now, and she'll wrap herself in a long scarf and dance to it in our living room.

Brother-in-law Bill said...

Agree on Miles and Van, and I would add Coltrane. Haven't had the same reaction to Aradhna and Sigur Ros.

Gita the Great said...

Excellent capture of Aradhna's appeal -- while I'm not averse to worship music myself, I do sometimes find it lacking in some quality that is essential. You hit the nail on the head when you said that quality is SOUL. There is yearning here, and deep devotion, and the talent and skill to translate that feeling into sound. . . these folks are musical masters at a young age.

Mike Todd said...

Just came across them to day for the first time, and found your post while doing some 'research". Stunningly beautiful are the words that come to mind. Thanks for providing some background for this novice.