Ari Koinuma met Voua ‘Bob’ Yang through seeking a vocalist on Craigslist. The duo eventually established themselves as Minnasia, a band with more emotional rawness than some poets. Besides singing for Minnasia, Yang, an established Hmong singer and songwriter around the Minneapolis area, plays at Hmong cultural events. Koinuma scores films and plays in various different bands when not composing and playing music for Minnasia.
In 2012, Yang won a Minnesota Arts Board grant, which he used to produce Promised Land. Promised Land tells the tale of a Hmong family’s journey from Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It’s a mini-musical with four scenes; each one describes the inner and outer voyage of a different family member at certain times on their quest.
Promised Land comprises a clear, compact narrative with its six tracks. In “Sister,” Yang’s vocal dynamics bewitch with their range and depth. He effortlessly reaches the lowest vocal registry then glides to the highest one. When all instruments stop, and only Yang’s vocals remain, you get chills from their pure power and beauty. “Sun” creates beats that echo sounds of a war march, but also have tribal elements, and the song hits serenity with the softness of the flute solos. “Sun” pleasantly challenges the ears with its instrumental layers.
“River” incites the most gripping story of the tracks with its poetic lyrics. Listeners may interpret “River” differently than I, but to me the song is about a son wanting to honor his family so much that he sacrifices his own life to protect them, which results in his death. It produces haunting lyrics for the family and the spectators. “Promised Land” concludes the family’s trip by showcasing that their loss cannot outweigh the freedom they discovered with this expedition. The track uses the same elements that made the other singles memorable: strong lyrics, calming sounds, and Yang’s charismatic vocals.
Minnasia puts intense passion into Promised Land, which demonstrates how much thought, care and love they have for this album’s message and story. Promised Land’s sound and vocals create an elegantly beautiful masterpiece.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook