If it’s balance that you seek, a way to turn down the heat and be at one with your soul and mind, then the new album A Seeker’s Slumber is the right mix of pop, classical and New Age orchestration is going to be your jam. From one of New Age music more interesting (and busy!) singer/songwriters, Cheryl B. Engelhardt, A Seeker’s Slumber’ is 10 tracks of almost magical collective sounds. Turn over a new leaf, start anew with these deeply emotive songs.
New York City’s Engelhardt sways the listener into her corner from the start. She does it by switching up instrumental works, as well as songs that keep the listener tapping their toes just the right amount. You won’t work up a sweat with these songs, but your heart is certainly inspired to beat just a bit faster, more focused. What Engelhardt reveals in her latest album, which follows last year’s Luminary, is that not only is she not one to sit on her laurels, but her artistry continues to meet and surpass challenges. In a very crowded music field, songs like “Awaecnian” prove why collaborating across global boundaries is no longer unique, but it’s the way to go if you want to be relevant. “Awaecnian”, which is a dynamic, innovative completed puzzle by many individuals. The result, of course, is a song that reaches the listener on a whole new level of making them feel just that – awoke and having a blank slate for the day.
In “Unwind” Engelhardt again pulls back the curtains and reveals a different emotional bank. To draw from this bank, the listener feels as though they don’t have to justify not being what society thinks they should be. They don’t have to be anything but themselves, this song seems to allude to. I think the theme for this album is really heightened in “Unwind”. Not only do we need to relax, but we have to remember that dreams are not just for evening’s slumber…we can dream awake and make our path anyway we want it to be.
The piano keys in these songs, like “Circlet of Pisces” and “Emerald Dreams” are branded more softly, brighter than the darker tones we can often hear in modern pop. Engelhardt is always positive, always pushing the listener forward optimistically as if the sun were always on the listeners’ path. This lighted energy feels unstoppable and ecstatic. The same urgency and connection is found in “Temperance” and “Sopor”. Rounding out the album are “Ithaca”, “Mother Gaia” (featuring Joannie Leeds and Chava Mirel), “Anyway You Choose” and “Pentacle Path”. I encourage listeners to follow the song in track order on the first listen, but after a few listens, switch things up and notice that the emotional drive increases, never faltering. Isn’t that the goal of art- create an avenue for listeners to start an inner conversation, getting them to find life’s balance? Mission accomplished for the wonderfully, stunning A Seeker’s Slumber from Cheryl B. Engelhardt. It’s one of her bests.