Manika Kaur will release her new album May 11. It’s called Sacred Words. Kaur’s career took off in 2013, with the release of her first album, Bandhanaa, a collaborative effort with Bollywood’s Sukhbir Singh. To date, Kaur has accumulated over 10 million views on YouTube.
Blending Indian tabla music with contemporary flavors from smooth jazz and sophisti-pop, Kaur’s sound is reminiscent of Sade, creamy, sensual, and nuanced with glistening pastel hues, as well as persuasive elegance.
There are 10 tracks on Sacred Words, and every single one is exquisitely superb. The music showcases the talents of not only Kaur, but Tunde Jegede on kora; Jynotsna Srikanth on violin; and James Yorkston on guitar and dulcimer.
Highlights of the album include both “Aval Allah” and “Kabir Tu,” as well as “Nasaro Masoor.” The latter two songs emanate the seductive tones and feel of Sade’s music, supple with muted eroticism and radiant harmonics. “Aval Allah” rides a more otherworldly emanation, but still retains a modern pop essence flowing underneath.
Lovers of smooth jazz that ooze burnished colors should definitely check out “Ad Gurray Namay and “Fareeda Master,” which project soft rock radiance amid mesmerizing mystical textures.
The juxtaposition of buttery harmonics and Kaur’s heavenly voice infuses the music with complex, delicate, and charming shades of resonance. Kaur’s voice demands specific attention because of its hovering, gliding delivery. It’s an instrument pregnant with mysterious vitality and polished sonic refinement.
Sacred Words is simply delectable, full of velvety melodies, sinuous washes of sonic pigments, and graceful milieus. Even those not into mystical-flavored music should give Manika Kaur a listen.