Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion

Katie Wise & Bhakti Explosion is a mantrarock kirtan band with a warm and winning sound infused with sacred Sanskrit, Western grooves, chick power, and angelic harmonies. Fans of alt-rock icons like Shawn Colvin and Cowboy Junkies and kirtan artists like Girish or Donna De Lory will adore Lovolution, the debut album led by bhakti cowgirl Katie Wise.

The devotion-infused powerhouse band burst onto the sacred music scene in 2015 and has already been featured at festivals such as Bhakti Fest, Lovelight, and Arise.

Lovolution combines prayerful lullabies and rock-infused tunes with just the right amount of Eastern mysticism.

It features three mantra/pop mashups that make mantra music even more accessible to listeners who might be new to yoga and meditation. “Hallelujah / Ram Ma Da Sa” blends a Leonard Cohen–inspired cover of “Hallelujah” with a healing mantra taught by the late yogi Bhajan. “Lokha Love” blends two peace mantras with the band’s cover of David Crosby’s 1971 tune “Music Is Love.” And “Mystic Krishna”—my favorite—is a stirring blend of ancient mantras and Van Morrison’s 1970 hit “Into the Mystic.”

Cover Lovolution Katie Wise

Meanwhile, the moody tune “Om Mata Kali” features Wise singing a mantra to the powerful mother-goddess Kali, with guest vocalist Jai Uttal’s haunting, classical Indian vocals soaring above them. On every track, Wise’s soulful, earthy voice embodies vulnerability in a way that turns emotion into art. I love this acclaimed album, and find that as a whole, the journey is immersive and very satisfying. Give a good listen to Katie Wise and keep on eye on her as she rises to the top of the ever-expanding kirtan world. Fans of both traditional and modern Kirtan music will find lots to enjoy here, over and over again.


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