You can get a bit of an idea what kind of music is in store for you when you take a look at the Bandcamp page for Chonie Vargas aka Ascension Vargas. Before even hearing the music I had a sense I was in for music that was associated with holistic healing, spirituality, mysticism and earthly things.
Turns out I was on the right track. Vargas dedicated her album A Costume For God to the life of Binah Zing and inspired by the teachings of Paititi Institute. If you read the details on her Bandcamp page it explains that she is a person who is inspired to spread love, spirituality and peace though her music and teachings.
Musically, A Costume For God is an album that revolves around her vocals and guitar. With that the vocals are clearly a focal point of these songs. Her lyrics are rich with meaning and on top of that are quite aesthetically pleasing. I was so happy that she decided to add percussion to some of these songs. It really helped break up the monotony that could have occurred if she decided to leave it at a guitar and vocal for these tracks.
Vargas initially goes at it with just a guitar and vocals on the opener “Song For The River.” There is no denying she has a rich detailed voice that can hit the right notes and all the minor nuances which add up. She makes references to Native American tribes and people through some of her lyrics. She sings, “Home of Shoshone Sacajawea and Aggipah / Their stories left on the stone / Standing thousands of feet tall.”
On the title track she introduces some tasteful percussion while singing about indigenous people and cosmic occurrences. “”Paititi” contains a couple shakers that are subtle but effective while “Planet Unfold” is arguably the catchiest song on the batch. As the album progresses the songs are consistent and similar. “Ashe” and “Universal Lover” (which contains some sort of wind instrument) were personal favorites.
The songs on A Costume For God feel celebratory and reverent. This is music that seems best when played around a blazing bonfire or at a festival like Burning Man. Recommended.
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