Running Into Time

by Lizzie Rose

It was a magical weekend of kinship and kirtan in March 2012 when I first heard Trevor Hall’s music. As my inner bliss expanded beyond known limits, Trevor gave it a voice that played through subpar speakers in the Cadillac DeVille we drove to and from Philadelphia. Since then, each discovery of his music has been the discovery of an artist who elegantly interweaves magnetic language and soulful vocalization with deep heartbeats, honest bhakti, the spirit of a child and the wisdom of an elder. KALA (time in Sanskrit) is the latest in these discoveries; an exploration of our human experience of time.

Hall talks candidly about the long retreat he took in the woods which allowed him the space to create music the way he wanted to, from heart and spirit. The retreat resulted in last year’s full-length album, Chapter of the Forest. Compared to Hall’s pre-retreat music which often felt like a unique brand of raw reggae from an open heart, 2014’s Chapter of the Forest was softer, more enticing and stellarly powerful. The following EP, Unpack Your Memories, was softer still, and KALA is even softer, more meditative and atmospheric. Within the larger ambience of the album lie a few more upbeat tracks like “Back to You” and “Uncle Jo,” a few with the old reggae spirit, “Bela Galo” and “You Got My Love,” along with a more recent sound for Hall, the Hawaiian lilt of “Indigo”. As usual for Hall, inspirations from many cultures fuel the instrumentation, feel and message of KALA’s songs, strengthening his ever present theme of unity.

Some of the most seductive songs on KALA (“Indigo”, “We Call,” “Bowl of Light”) use fearless repetition, a device chanters are familiar with. And it’s not just repetition of lyrics or mantras. While many songwriters create hooks only on the topline, Hall lovingly allows himself the freedom to write hooks in all elements of the track, doing what songwriters everywhere dream of doing: writing what they feel without needing to follow the industry’s rules. For those who know mantra repetition to be the gateway to the highest vibrations, this is one reason we love Trevor Hall. He gracefully folds the pure devotion and escalating repetition of kirtan into his unique sound and humble message, creating an easy bhakti for us all.

Hall says “KALA is about time the healer, time the teacher, time the friend, and all the lessons within.” Truly hearing KALA could have you invigorating your relationship with time through partnership (“Back to You”), brotherhood (“Uncle Jo” feat. Nahko), mother earth (“Mother” feat. Xavier Rudd & Tubby Love), community (“Yirawala”) and the notion of eternal unity that underlines each track. You could also lose yourself in KALA, wondering where the 75 minutes have gone and why you feel so good as the album closes. Don’t worry, Hall will tell you you’re running into time, not out of it.

On his website (, Trevor Hall shares the story of KALA, crediting his Grandmother with providing the seed for this album in a single sentence: “Isn’t time such a wonderful gift?” KALA is.

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  1. What a beautiful written article Miss Lizzie Rose. Your own declaration of Trevor’s magnetic language and mission of unity really comes through in this eloquent, passionate and heartfelt expression.