Music: Lana Sugarman’s “Invocation”, as reviewed by Leanne Wood
Lana Sugarman is a Toronto-based yoga teacher and kirtan singer who recently released her debut album, Invocation. After many years of leading her own kirtans as well as sitting in to support fellow kirtan artists including David Newman, Brenda McMorrow and Swaha to name a few, the time finally came for her to make her mark in the genre with her own offering. I’m thoroughly enchanted with Lana Sugarman’s Invocation—a collection of mantras put to music.
I saw and heard Lana for the first time at Bhakti Fest West 2014, as she supported many of the main stage performers with background and response vocals. My ears quickly honed in on her melodious voice during Brenda McMorrow’s set, and as it ended I made my way backstage where she graciously handed me her CD.
As the founder and programmer for Bliss Bubble Radio, I listen to a lot of kirtan-chant-mantra music… a lot. I love the genre and the artists in it, but I’m rarely bewitched by any one artist’s album. This one got me. As I listened to it for my station’s rotation, I found that it made me smile—inwardly and outwardly. This girl has got a little extra magic in her musical mantra mojo. Her vocal tone is rich and soothing. Each track has been flawlessly produced by Chris Gartner and totally supports and enhances Lana’s music, making it shine.
Invocation has earned a coveted spot in my car’s CD player. After several months, it’s still there creating my perfect little bliss bubble as I travel here and there around busy Los Angeles. While I LOVE the whole offering (Have I mentioned yet that I love this girl’s music? ☺), stand-out tracks for me are the sweet and playful “Hey Ma Durga”, the pop-infused “Satyam Jnanam Anandam Brahma” with its upbeat groove, and the final “Closing Prayer” for its clean and reverent simplicity. I literally could not get those first two tracks out of my head for days as they are so catchy. Whether you play the album in its entirety or pick and choose a few tracks to create the perfect meditation or yoga class mix, add her music into your life. Divinely inspired, divinely created and divinely offered, Sugarman’s Invocation is the perfect music to set a heart-opening and transformative tone for your new year. Get it. Play it. Share it. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Leanne Wood is a new age spiritual music industry insider with ten years of experience managing one of the top bands in the genre, Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe. In addition to management, Leanne organized and co-facilitated numerous domestic and international group retreats on behalf of the band in California, Bali and Italy. Leanne was the founding director of the non-profit project, Shakti Tribe Foundation, dedicated to bringing peace, hope and transformation to people at a crossroads to create a better world. She facilitated and co-designed peace programs that taught mantra, yoga and positive transformational tools to those in prisons, jails, halfway houses and juvenile detention centers. Leanne also co-founded SacredSoundsRadio.com, the world’s first radio station and website devoted to the “Yoga for your Ears” genre. Today, Sacred Sounds Radio is a respected authority in defining the yoga music genre for the world.