Like their namesake, Avidya And The Kleshas' music is shrouded in mystery and cannot be confined to one box. With her penchant for impassioned expression, vocalist Stephanie Carlin evokes the ghost of Jeff Buckley and the outspokenness of Ani DiFranco, while the Kleshas channel the textured funk of Frank Zappa and multifaceted soundscapes of John Frusciante. Avidya & The Kleshas write music that leads listeners in unexpected directions.
Buddhist texts describe Avidya and four other Kleshas as the fog in our consciousness, the mental states that cloud the mind, i.e why we suffer. Translated from Sanskrit, this incapacity to see reality for what it really is defines “avidya,” which is the root klesha in all of us; it is the source of four other mental states of discomfort.
Avidya And The Kleshas evolved out of a fortuitous meeting of solo artist, Stephanie Carlin, and her band-to-be. After moving to Brooklyn in 2008 and releasing the solo EP The Agony and Ecstasy of, Carlin graduated with a BFA in Jazz Performance and sought out a backing band. Lord Craigslist bestowed upon her percussionist Wes Reid and bassist Russ Flynn. Though the three temporarily parted company, the universe reunited them a year later to form the lush sounds of Avidya & The Kleshas, adding Xander Naylor on electric guitar and Javi Santiago on keys.
Spawned from the love and generous support of fans with a successful Kickstarter campaign, Avidya & The Kleshas’ Tree of Series, to be released on June 4, 2013, is a record for refined tastes. Not for the faint of thought, the 11-track album is an innovative listening experience, fraught with ever-changing shapes and carefully crafted lyrics. Complex rhythms and swelling instrumentation back Carlin’s shining voice on the first single, “Mother and God.” Similes expand with growing passionate stanzas, growing into freewheeling choruses that ebb and flow with varying time signatures and elastic piano lines. Moving the record into a more subdued mood, highlight track "Body of Lead" floats on ethereal synth arpeggios, gentle cross-sticking, and soothing vocals that immerse the listener into a trance-like calm.
Avidya And The Kleshas’ genre is not easily pigeonholed, as they are a band defined by an outside-of-the-box approach to music-making. Tree of Series intertwines eclectic musical backgrounds, encouraging a community of diverse music lovers to interconnect and generate anticipation for Avidya & The Kleshas’ blossoming path.