Kellianna is possibly my favorite pagan musician. There are a lot of bands and singers whose music has found its way to my iTunes library, but very few of those musicians have continuously put out music that I like and want to share. I recently had a chance to listen to Kellianna's latest offering, The Ancient Ones.
Being up front and honest, I don't like chants. At least, not to jam to in my car or listen to at home while I'm washing dishes. Chanting is something I might do in a group setting, but not by myself when I'm heading to IKEA. So, I greatly enjoyed the fact that this album included a mixture of both chant music and songs, since her last album - Elemental - was nearly all chants. At only 10 songs, this album is nearly the perfect length for a commuter. If you're close enough to work, you can start and end your day with her.
The music is good. It's in the same wheelhouse as Elemental, and its lyrical content is strongly connected with chants, Arthurian legend, and the Maiden goddess/Artemis. I'm not sure I heard an anthemic, iconic addition to her repertoire as she's given us on previous offerings, but every artist evolves. Her first album's 'Lady Moon' is an incredible, bluesy addition to pagan music, a moment of true greatness that showcases the full power of her voice. Kellianna's sophomore effort, I Walk With The Goddess, is possibly her most far-reaching in terms of content, but it's possibly her best album to date - stand out moments include the title track and Ancestor's Song.
The Ancient Ones has some great moments as well. I loved The Ancient Ones, the title track; in many ways it's a return to that bluesy feel of her first album's best moments. Personally, I'd love to see more of this tone from Kellianna, as it's perfect for her voice. Odd that I liked this song so much, as it's a chant, but there you have it. Wild Maiden is also a fun track, again, a chant. Daughters of the Earth is possibly the album's best vocal, and To the Summerlands is going to be a track you'll add to your Samhain mixes. (Attention Velma Nightshade.)
Some tracks, though, had a 'going away to camp and singing around a fire with a camp counselor' vibe to them. Mists of Avalon, Bless Our Planet, Thank You Mother, and Lugh were a bit on the lighter, happier side. I like sugar in my tea, but this was tea with my sugar.
Kellianna is still the absolute best, in this Rioter's opinion, in modern pagan music. Her voice is far beyond that of her contemporaries, and when she nails it she gives us a radio quality track that would do well on any mainstream chart out there. Test it out with the recommended tracks above, or just dive right in and get the full album. It's under $10 on iTunes and $9 on Amazon for the MP3.
What's YOUR favorite Kellianna track?
Love and Lyte,