2018 / Wise Old Owl Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
In Dreams is the second full-length recording from singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Kimberly Haynes. Her 2016 debut, Awaken Me, received the Album of the Year award from One World Music, and this new release will not disappoint anyone with high expectations for her follow-up! Although Kimberly did not write the eight songs on In Dreams, they are songs she has sung for beloved brothers and sisters in hundreds of prayer circles and medicine ceremonies. All of the songs are close to Haynes’ heart, and that connection to the music is very apparent in the heartfelt expression that comes through every word. Haynes has one of the most beautiful singing voices I have heard - very natural, sincere, and true. The songs are sung in English, Spanish, Hebrew, Sanskrit and Portuguese (lyrics are available on her website), and the instrumentation includes guitar, charango, didjeridu, and medicine drums. Douglas Hurt was executive producer for the project, which was recorded and mixed by David Vito Gregoli, who also plays guitars, charango, flutes, percussion, hand drums, synths and acoustic bass. It’s a beautiful and very soul-stirring album with a message for just about everyone.
In Dreams begins with “Kabir’s Song,” a beautifully haunting ballad written by Snatam Kaur Khalsa and Carste Thomas Barkawitz. I love the lines: “In useless play you’ll not find a way, so set your course and go.” “I Am Light” by India Arie begins with the sound of birds chirping before Hayne’s lovely voice begins, accompanied by little more than an acoustic guitar. The song feels very much like a folksong - simple and heartfelt. “Heal This Land” was written by Tina Malia and features Stephen Kent on didjeridu and Jeff Oster supplying horn effects. The steady rhythms of drums and hand percussion create a sense of urgency and keep the song driving forward. “Pinta” is a lively, upbeat song sung in Spanish with ethnic instrumentation that will have your toes tapping in no time. “B’yado,” sung in Hebrew, is almost a capella with sound healing bells and bowls as the only accompaniment. Haynes’ voice is layered so that it sounds like a duet in sections - simply gorgeous, emotional and very ethereal. “Flor Das Aguas” is a beautiful prayer sung in both Portuguese and English (English lyrics by Haynes). Instrumentation is again simple and ethnic. The traditional “Heart Sutra” was arranged by Haynes and sung in English with synth washes and a steady drum beat. Her voice is again layered in this very stirring and evocative song. The title track brings the album to a tender close with a song of love and encouragement sung to a child perhaps as a lullaby or perhaps as the child is leaving this earthly life. Light bells, synth washes and guitar enhance the deep emotion in Hayne’s voice and highlight the words of this amazing song.
So, if you are looking for a vocal album and a voice that can transport you, be sure to check out In Dreams! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
June 17, 2018
with David Vito Gregoli