What, you might ask, would be the driving force behind a musician like New York's premier empowered chanting enthusiast, Shana Falana?
"It’s 2011 and people want to be stimulated. I think people are starving,” writes New York state based shoegaze-y, (and, dare we say, New Age-y?) artist Shana Falana on her website's bio, which makes for an interesting read, if you don't mind super dramatic life narratives delivered in tones of reverence.
As the story goes, after garnering some attention in the San Francisco area for her emotive Bulgarian chanting-influenced performances, Falana moved to New York City to explore her "darker side," performing in venues like Brooklyn's The Trash Bar; after finding it a bit too dark there after a drug addiction and the loss of a tip of a finger, though, she eventually retreated to the Hudson Valley to record music in a more forgiving environment instead. The result of her efforts is a six song EP called In the Light that, all the dramatism aside, is notable for its rhythmic sways of looped chants that envelope you in just the right way, if you let them.
The soaring vocals on "Dizzy Chant" makes Shana Falana's music into a sort-of Cranberries for the 21st century, while the soaring, twinkling optimism of some of the others adds a unique and uplifting twist to the shoegaze genre. While it should be said that there are some misses on the EP, such as "U R Everything," a song which is, like its title, a bit too clunky and obvious in its mission, there are several songs on the EP that exhibit Falana's better, more nuanced side. The best example might be the enchanting "Light the Fire," in which minimal but affecting lyrics are looped over muted tribal drums, producing a memorable musical space between self awareness and mystery in which we can nestle ourselves in comfortably.
Check out the links on the bottom right for more about Shana Falana's music, upcoming tour dates, and the musician's intense spiritual journeys through time and space.