Avidya And The Kleshas didn’t make the feel good album of the summer, which is exactly why you should listen to it. Tree of Series is a refreshing break from the trendy bands who try to win you over with flashy production gimmicks and the right haircut. This album kills ‘em softly with intricate musicianship, striking vocal delivery, and risky thematic content that belies true sincerity of intention. It’s the kind of album an audiophile record collector would play for his kid on a summer night with a candle burning. And on the right night with the right set of ears, that kid might never think about music the same way again.
You know what they say: the longer the hair, the better equipped you are to be a spiritual leader. So for Avidya and the Kleshas' latest single ''Mother and God," singer Stephanie Carlin's long locks certainly come in handy.
The video showcases a valiant effort at burning through destructive inner forces like ego and ignorance, all set to the Brooklyn quintent's inventive interplay between folk truth and Jazz meanderings. This is one of our fave tracks from latest LP 'Tree of Series.'
“On Avidya And The Kleshas’ new song “Body of Lead,” the Brooklyn indie-pop band are very direct about their intentions. ‘As a very spiritual but non-religious person, I was getting tired of all this talk about finding inner peace,’ singer Stephanie Carlin says. ‘That’s a very hard thing to do, and I want to use the music to talk about the struggle behind finding peace. [This song] is exactly about this. The ‘space’ we think needs ‘to be filled,’ and how hard it is to let go of need, fear, want, and just be.’”
— MTV Hive
"That our connectedness exists as much in our spirit's rhythmic discord as it does in harmony is a lesson [Carlin] lets vibrate in her music. Thus music for Avidya And The Kleshas is both a teaching, educational and relational medium, not just a collection of danceable, swingable but otherwise hollow, notes."
"To understand Avidya's music one has to anticipate, if not appreciate, this "duality of calm and tension" that defines each song almost completely. The lead song 'Mother And God' ushers the record with a melodic thud, followed by a funky sashaying rhythm, overlaid with lyrics and melody that speed through. Lyrical and musical phrasings are distinctly at odds but not out of place."
"Immediately one is forewarned that the listener would not be taking a trip along the predictable path of pop jazz. It feels nervous and agitated and proceeds this way until it hits a slower string of notes that Carlin frequently uses to emphasize an awareness or thought, usually in a smoother, soothing semi ballad.
The feeling is best described as being shaken vigorously and then slowly coming to a realization. But realizing what exactly? It isn't altogether feel good music, and it's not meant to be. The listener is taken to sections of discomfort and tension in order to appreciate the ebb and release that proceed. That represents the natural cycle."
"In Tree Of Series, tempos change, meters and signatures change. Nevertheless, pinned on each song's radically syncopated notes are poetic, lyrical observations of the commonality of the human experience."
- Classiques Modernes
“Thoughtful communication is a key element to the music of Avidya and the Kleshas.... The tracks are colored with unexpected, yet well-crafted changes in tempo and instrumentation that require fans to engage in thoughtful, close listening, while Ms. Carlin’s lyrics call for the same response from listeners, as they explore the role of various emotions in their lives.”
— The Southampton Press
"...Raw and honest in tone and delivery. Imagine the female version of Brandon Boyd (frontman for Incubus) meets Fiona Apple. Lyrics are layered and symbolic. If you’re a fan of the unconventional and the organic, or interested in music with a message, the band offers just the right dose of such."
"Earnest, bold, a mixture of up-tempo and down-tempo, this jazz-folk provides us with the indie alternative equivalent to their soulful Brooklyn-based kin-folk Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings."
"A viewing of an Avidya live show is proof-positive of the quality of the band’s delivery as strong vocals coast alongside lovely instrumentals. Each song is a moment, as we are swept away and nestled into our human truths and conditions."
- Sonic Eclectic
"In yoga, there isn’t one interpretation of pretty much anything. Depending on your lineage and studies, avidya can mean ignorance or the root of suffering (among other things), andklesha can be interpreted from a state of mind to layers of cloaks that hide or reveal our emotional states and afflictions. In musical terms, the New York based Avidya & The Kleshas seem to have picked an appropriate name to cover their wily musical escapades."
"It’s hard to pin down one style or reference, in fact as you listen the music on the surface seems to be one sound but as each layer, or cloak, is removed a depth and richness is gradually revealed."
"Lyrically the album moves through themes of being nothing and everything, of awakening and what to do after that. Calling back to obvious yogic and Buddhist roots that run deeper than a mere namedropping of klesha or avidya, most songs come back to the idea of picking yourself up and living."
- Yoga Teacher Magazine
“Stephanie Carlin, lead singer for Brooklyn, New York outfit Avidya and the Kleshas is our kind of artist – the kind that completely understands the role of music in our lives. She says “There’s a clear focus with the music of AATK: To explore the feelings, the vulnerabilities, of our internal stories and how they project and influence the outer world. I think the best ideas stem from the hunger to fill an inner void. At first I often think that emptiness is caused by things outside of myself. Almost always I am incorrect. It’s scary to sincerely and honestly accept that I am in control of my life, my fate, my problems.””
— Pens Eye View