Welcome to Boss Ladies, the review column written by members for members! Today, Lindsay White shares her thoughts on Donna Larsen's latest release “Open the Door."
Humans are a pretty silly lot, don’t you think? We’re always looking to a new year, or a new year’s resolution, or a new set of political leaders to be the easy way out of bad habits, negative experiences, and persisting social struggles. Don’t get me wrong, clean slates are refreshing, goals are great, and staying politically engaged is important, but sometimes in our search for peace and purpose, we forget to look in the simplest place: within. In her new single “Open the Door,” San Diego singer songwriter and guitarist Donna Larsen addresses this conundrum with some spiritually illuminating advice.
Ethereal vocals and meditative tones set the scene as Larsen poses an opening question: “When will we awaken?” A triumphant first chorus follows with the words “Open the door!” repeated eight entrancing times. The listener has now entered a spellbinding audio landscape, which Larsen lushly paints with the help of Josquin Des Pres (production, bass), Scott Gorham (keys), Monette Moreno (Percussion), Randy Hodge and Victoria Belmonte (backup vocals), and Ian Sutton (mixing, mastering).
In each verse, Larsen speaks to an anticipatory sense of inner and outer turbulence (“laws are changing, shifts felt and seen”) while also acknowledging the various factors blocking pathways to peace, like “outdated traditions” and “fear of change.” But ultimately, she encourages her audience to break those barriers by welcoming and trusting themselves and their source, singing “let the light into your being” and “[ask] to be open to receive.” In offering this warm and knowing invitation, Larsen promises listeners all the warm and fuzzy rewards like “love and kindness,” “discovery and realization,” and “soul communication.”
Who doesn’t want to go to this place beyond the metaphorical door? *Hand-raise emoji* Count me in!
The exultant “Open the Door” refrain circles back several times more, reminding us that sometimes, all it takes to arrive on the other side of life's internal and external obstacles is a willingness to approach them with openness, curiosity, and trust. Though Larsen’s words are sage and gentle, there is also a sense of urgency helping to command the listener beyond fear and toward enlightenment. As long as there are musicians like Larsen, you never have to open that door alone.
The accompanying video to “Open the Door” is creatively curated by Dave Preston. It features imagery such as keys, locks, meditating figures, chakras, hypnotic colors, space, stars, and of course, doors. Together, these images speak to spirituality, energy, the cosmos, and a reciprocal flow from self to source. It is empowering, uplifting, and kinda trippy. (I’m not saying you should watch it while mellowing out with some CBD, THC, candles, incense, etc. But I’m not not saying that either.)
When asked what was memorable about creating this project, Larsen said “This music is different from anything I have ever done. It feels expansive and true to my soul. I am so grateful to be able to have worked in concert with such wonderfully talented people who were so willing to help me with my vision for this song!”
She hopes listeners step into that vision, too. “It would be so amazing to know that people who listen to this were able to begin, or be even more inspired on their spiritual path, and/or gain a new way of looking at life or healing.”
For those just “Opening the Door” to Larsen’s music, stay tuned for a full album and don’t forget to check out past projects such as her children’s picture sing-along songbook/CD set called In My Own Backyard. You can also follow along on her website and Facebook!
Image description: White background with black vertical text on left side that reads: "boss ladies." At center is the artwork for Donna Larsen's single (description above). Layered on top of graphic is a yellow circle with black text that reads: "artist Donna Larsen. song/video Open the Door. reviewed by Lindsay White."
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