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Amrita – Self Titled Album

Out of the quiet arises a melody as subtle as it is mighty, its tonal charms immediately inviting us to listen a little closer as strings and piano keys begin to intertwine. These are the first few moments of the self-titled album from Amrita’s first song, “Shiva Raj,” and no matter what you’re doing when the track commences, it is almost guaranteed that you will stop whatever it is and pay complete attention to the sonic mysticism unfolding before your very ears. What will soon follow is undeniably some of the most powerfully endearing songcraft to have come out on any record back in 2005, and the foundation of why Amrita remains one of the most respected acts of anyone in their scene some sixteen years later.

WEBSITE: https://www.amritamusic.net/

“Purti” is much slower in its initial blossoming than “Shiva Raj” is, but once it finds its stride, it opens up to become one of the most passionate tracks on the album. Just past the two and a half minute mark in the song comes a flurry of string harmonies that could cause the hair to stand up on anyone’s back, and in the best way possible. “Dreaming Princess” utilizes its percussive element to illustrate a lot of breakable tension – all of which will be shattered by the time we reach the latter half of the 5:45 run time – and even in the more ambient moments of the music, we’re constantly made to engage with whatever tone is in the air around us.

The title track in Amrita is the LP’s simplest, and from a string player’s perspective one of the most emotional as well. The melody aches with every delicately plucked note, and after over seven minutes of unfurling its aural message, the elaborate whisper of “Om Mani Padme Hum” feels like an oasis on the other side of a highly insightful trip through the isolated desert. One cannot be certain of what was going on in these musicians’ minds when they were recording this material, but I can confidently say that regardless of how many times I go through this entire tracklist, I feel even more relaxed and comforted by the music than I did previously. This album has aged brilliantly, to such an extent where I think it might be a little weightier now, in 2021.

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amritamusic.net/amrita-album.html

“For a Friend” closes out six-song experience that is Amrita on a strikingly eclectic note (hinting openly at what would come in the group’s follow-up in 2006), and while it bears little resemblance in structure to the content that comes before it here, it feels like the perfect ending to the story Amrita tell in this LP nonetheless. If you’re among those who haven’t picked up this album in the past decade-plus, I would highly recommend giving it a listen this season as a special gift to your soul. This is music that goes deeper than any pop artist ever could, and it could be one of the best examples of humanity’s eternal connection with the medium made by an indie outfit in the last twenty years.

John McCall

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