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Vajra – “Blind”

Vajra – “Blind”

Annamaria PinnaAnnamaria PinnaHow do you roll progressive rock, gothic, metal, grunge, and Indian music all in one? I personally have no idea, but New York band Vajra found a way to do it in their new single “Blind.”

Before listening to Vajra, you should know a little bit about the singer, Annamaria Pinna. Annamaria has a neurological condition called synesthesia, where one of the body’s senses is perceived by one or more other senses. In Annamaria Pinna’s case, her sense of sight is perceived through her other senses. What this means is that sounds, such as music, are literally part of her vision and take form in different colors and shapes. When you take this rare condition and mix it with the fact that Annamaria lived in India, you know you’re in for something different.

To no surprise, the music from such a unique brain is original, unorthodox, and not completely understandable to an average listener. Vajra’s “Blind” starts out with dark computerized cellos which are soon accompanied by a sitar, grunge bass line, tribal drum beat, and chaotic nu metal guitar. If you weren’t confused and intrigued enough by all this, Anna Maria Pinna’s vocals really send you over the top. Her voice isn’t eerie or metal like the rest of the track. Rather, she has the clean style of a country or pop singer! Due to the variety of unconventional musical combinations, “Blind” is certainly a wild experiment of unfiltered ambition.

But even though your ears might not be ready for this musical hodgepodge, you have to appreciate how energetically Vajra takes on strangeness and darker themes both lyrically and musically. I find Vajra’s non-formulaic experiment to be fresh and exciting. I’m not much of a metal or progressive rock connoisseur, but those respective audiences should have a lot to be excited about when listening to Vajra.

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Vajra was formed by composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Annamaria Pinna during her self-imposed exile in India. The child of a former monk and school teacher, Annamaria was encouraged to learn about the world around her and to question her assumptions. She believes there is divinity in creativity. Annamaria has a neurological condition called synesthesia, where she attaches color and shapes to sound.

Vajra’s music is hauntingly dark and hypnotic weaving Eastern Indian themes with melodic, progressive rock creating foreboding and mysterious lullabies. Their debut album “Pleroma” was released on the Summer Solstice, 2012 (6.21.12). Pleroma is an exploration in paradox (east vs west, soft vs pummelling, female vs male) and includes Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) co-produced the vocals and mixed. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered.

Vajra is a force and is quickly generating a buzz after selling-out their first show in November, 2011 (at The Bowery Electric in NYC).


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