Listening Session: Runt – Rhymes With

Mumbai based singer and guitar player Siddharth Basrur has been a busy man over the past year. Basrur has had time to record vocals for songs for Hindi films, sung for ad films, toured with his bands Last Remaining Light and Goddess Gagged, and now has put out an EP of music through his solo project, Runt. Basrur took up guitar, bass and vocal duties for this project, with drums tracked by drummer Aditya Ashok. The album was released digitally through iTunes and Google Play on June 5.

Speaking about the name Basrur says, “When I was a kid, I was physically a runt; tiny, scrawny, underweight, and never really good at anything. But the runt of a litter is often the underdog, and eventually, I overcame my obstacles. Also, the sound of Runt is not a small sound, and it’s very different from the solo stuff I’ve released earlier.”

The album was a year in the works and Basrur says he began writing material for the release two years ago. “It began as just guitar ideas that I kept recording, and eventually I started developing the ideas, turning them into instrumental tracks. Vocals came right at the end.”

Basrur didn’t consider taking these ideas to his other band Last Remaining Light because he wanted to challenge to himself. “I decided to to do this on my own, for myself, in my own time, and that’s the same reason I didn’t involve any other musicians during the writing/recording process. I’d been working on my skills as a guitarist and bassist for a couple of years, so I thought this would be a good way to prove something to myself,” the musician says.

The album, comprising of five songs running at just under 17 minutes, stays rooted in alternative rock of the 90s but also has sounds from from shoegaze and britpop bands. Speaking of his influences, Basrur says, “I’m a 90s kid; that’s when I grew up and opened my ears to alternative rock. That’s also about the time I really started wanting to be in a band.” The music on the album has an uplifting vibe, with subjects dealing with dependency to impatience and acceptance.

The album was mostly recorded at home by the singer-songwriter, with mixing and mastering done by Adhiraj Singh of Refractor Audio in Pune. The album features crisp guitar sounds and punchy drums with adequate importance given to guitar effects and ambience.

When asked if there are any plans to form a band and play these songs live, Basrur says, “There are no immediate plans, but I am working on putting a band together, and really want to play this material on stage. However, Last Remaining Light may just play a couple of tracks from ‘Rhymes With’ in the future.”

[Stream/download ‘Rhymes With’ from iTunes or Google Play Music here]

What was your favorite song from ‘Rhymes With’? Let us know in the comments below.

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Listening Session: Cowboy And Sailor Man – Closet Dancer

Mr Tailor came to both cowboy and sailor man/He brought cowboy hat for sailor man” is the lyric on American punk/pop group Deerhoof’s song ‘My Purple Past’, which is what inspired Mumbai based multi-instrumentalist Apurv Agarwal’s solo project’s moniker. Cowboy and Sailor Man came about in 2013, while Agarwal was studying music at the McNally Smith College in the US. His debut EP, ‘Closet Dancer’ was released as a pay-what-you-want download on May 12.

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