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Sound Check: Trevor Hall's spiritual journey led him back to music
Sometimes, we all need to step back, to examine who we are and where we are headed. Singer-songwriter Trevor Hall (who is only 28) was signed to a recording contract as a senior in high school. After more than 10 years of touring, Hall found himself at a crossroads, a “rough spot” in his life that was holding him back musically that forced him to take a break from his music.
“It was scary,” he said in a phone interview last week. “What does that mean? Am I ever going to come back?”
During his year and a half sabbatical from touring, Hall, who has music in his soul, began writing. Unlike previous efforts, however, the songs didn’t come with recording, or an album in mind. Writing melodies and lyrics became a part of the process of healing.
“I really started to find my sound, to grow into my soul more,” Hall said.
The resulting songs did become an album, 2014’s meditative “Chapter of the Forest,” the first of a trilogy that also includes five-song EP “Unpack Your Memories” and “KALA,” which is set for release on Aug. 21, and breathes fresh life and movement into Hall’s music.
“I’m continuing to show what’s in my heart,” Hall said. “’KALA’ is definitely the next step in that journey.”
Hall, a singer-songwriter, is drawn to cultures that express their spirituality through music. He is known for a reggae sound, taken from the Rastafarianism that once satisfied his spiritual hunger. He has visited India at least once each year since he was 20, drawing on yogic philosophy and learning the Sanskrit chanting he has incorporated into his music. “KALA” is actually the Sanskrit word for “time.”
“It happened naturally,” he said. “I wasn’t really planning on it.”
The latest single from “KALA,” “Forgive,” was written in a couple hours the day after Hall returned from the Uplift Festival in Australia, where he learned about indigenous peoples attempting to hold onto their cultures, while at the same time moving forward and forgiving the injustices against them. It includes a verse by poet and spoken word performer Luka Lesson.
“There are no accidents. There are no factions. There is no us and them, nothing to borrow or lend, no enemy or friend and only forgiveness can make that happen,” Lesson recites.
While joyously singing the new work that is a manifestation of what is in his heart, Hall is also able to draw bring new energy to crowd favorites. He uses his songs as meditations or mantras.
“Every time you recite it, something else comes to you internally, something else reveals itself about that journey or experience,” he said.
Hall will be performing at Filling Station in Bozeman on Wednesday, Aug. 5, with Tubby Love and Satsang. Tickets are $26 at Cactus Records and $30 at the door.