Influenced by her world travels, Tina Malia’s latest release, Bridge to Vallabha, features a compilation of prayers, mantras, and songs sung in Sanskrit, Hebrew, Gurmukh, and English.

Malia plays guitar, vibraphone, charangon, lap steel guitar, cello and keyboards and is accompanied by Donna De Lory, Heather Wertheimer, Karnamrita Dasi, Jai-Jagdeesh, Peia, and Sasha Rose.

Malia’s angelic voice maintains a balance between lightness and a sincere presence. The track Om Sarve reveals a clear mastery of vocal tracking and harmonies and a melody that feels like a familiar gypsy ballad. “Ima Adama” has a catchy, folk-pop style that would fit in on popular radio.

Eck Ong Kar” has one of the most unique takes on this mantra with Malias a cappella approach: a simple vocal melody reminiscent of an indigenous African tune paired with hand claps. Listening to the way the mantra loops induces a state of trance. It is one of my personal favorites: I interpret it as a call to inspiration and truth.

Oushadim feels dreamy and experimental; the minimalist electronic synth pads feel mysterious, and the violin is so gorgeous and expressive, in the style of a Chinese Erhu. 

This album contains my current favorite rendition of Long Time Sun. I like how Malia did some interesting change-ups on the arrangement while keeping the integrity of the melody. Anyone should be exceedingly impressed at the broad skill and taste of Malia’s songwriting, arrangements, and production on Bridge to Vallabha. 

CD Review

Bridge to Vallabha

by Tina Malia

Amida Records


 

Reviewed by McKenna Rowe, a DJ, yoga teacher, and founder of Chakra 5 Yoga & Wellness: chakra5.la.

 

McKenna caught the “yoga bug” as a little girl, watching Lilias Folan on PBS. She leads an active life hiking, running, sometimes snowboarding, and once was a nationally-ranked equestrian. After years of working in the digital industry for clients in entertainment, publishing and fashion, she took a sabbatical to acquire her yoga teacher certification. A desire to help people heal soon followed. Also a successful musician and composer, McKenna shares cutting-edge music during yoga classes, recruiting musicians and DJs to perform with her. She owned and operated East Hollywood’s Chakra 5 Yoga studio throughout 2011, creating a vibrant community on and offline, but decided to shift to a mobile model. Now Chakra 5 brings yoga classes on site and by appointment to businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. McKenna was certified in Hatha/Kundalini at Karuna Yoga, and has additional teacher training in Restorative Yoga with Master Teacher Judith Lasater. She teaches yoga at Chakra 5 classes and international retreats.