I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several singles by The Song Gardeners over the past year or so. I was happy to see this album, then. The Song Gardeners are a San Francisco based trio consisting of singer/songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Corrie Dunn and Mary Gospe and their producer, David Scheibner.
The genre of their music is not traditionally New Age, but rather what we could call “New Age Pop.” I think I said in an earlier review they are like the Peter, Paul, and Mary of the New Age. For those who do not know, Peter, Paul, and Mary were a group from the 60s, who brought political concerns and social commentary to the forefront through song.
Sparkling vocals, carefully crafted, uplifting lyrics, exquisite harmonies, and beautiful instrumentation make The Song Gardeners’ work very compelling and enjoyable. The production – engineering, mixing, and mastering – is top-notch as well.
The brief, 33-minute album is 8 vocal tracks beginning with the wonderful, “Harmony of Contrast.” This is a cool, groovy, New Age “chill” piece that is a great opening to this album. Here we are invited into an upbeat celebration of diversity with its colorful lyrics and 70s funk rhythm infused with 80s pop. And the harmonies between Mary and Corrie are outstanding.
“Like colorful pieces in the mosaic of life
We’re each unique shapes reflecting love and light
In an infinite mural painted on a sea of glass
We can live peacefully in a harmony of contrast”
Following is “Love is the Magic of Change” featuring Corrie Dunn on synths, “sweet as honey” lead and backing vocals, Mary Gospe on backing vocals, and Chris Day on bass. The song reminds listeners that we are one with the universe, as well as connected to each other through time and space, and it does so in a lovely, effective, and non-preachy way:
“And we are here for a moment in space and time
Inspiring each other to better humankind
Love is the magic of change.”
“Altered State” is another “chill groove” vocal piece that has got a great vibe and beat and is sure to uplift your spirits immediately. This is a catchy tune with enchanting lyrics and music written by Mary Gospe, who has the lead vocals here with her wonderful, calming voice coaxing us hypnotically into the “escape.”
Mesmerizing, and meditative, “Love Flows,” with its soft flute, guitars, and again beautiful vocals, can be described in one word: Calming. “Reveal” is an empowering chant song that is sung in Farsi, Spanish, and English by Mary Gospe. Flowing, with a world kind of beat, this is gorgeous in every way and the lyrics inspire women to break out of outdated “norms.”
I was excited to hear the title track, which is the only song on the album that was not previously released as a single. Written by Corrie Dunn, this is a song dedicated to us all and to love. And this is what The Song Gardeners are all about. Great beats here, as well as the always beautiful vocals and harmonies between these two women. The instrumentation also includes Corrie performing on a Fender Rhodes electric piano. Very beautiful.
Another “mantra” song, “Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu,” translates to, “May all beings be well.” This is a definitive favorite on the album. A feeling of deep peace pours out over us like sweet salve to the soul upon listening to this piece. This is so very soothing. “. . .May kindness be your guide in this world. . .”
The album closes out with the gentle, flowing, “Warrior of Light.” The song speaks to the events of 2020 and encourages us to not be victims to anything, but to “Activate the love inside, be a warrior, warrior of light. . .”
“We had plans, they got changed
Suddenly, our lives rearranged
It will never, ever be quite the same
It’s a new game”
Indeed, they did, and it is. And I am happy The Song Gardeners are here to uplift us with their music into whatever comes next. Deeply inspiring, this great album is available digitally as well as a physical CD.
Get it here digitally: https://dashgo.co/owd8ydq
Official artist website: https://www.thesonggardeners.com/