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Coshish To Release Debut Concept Album

Mumbai band’s ‘Firdous,’ which has been in the works for two years, offers fans alternative ways of listening to the 10-track album

Anurag Tagat Aug 30, 2013
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Hindi prog/alt rock band Coshish. Photo: Bharath Chandrasekar

Hindi prog/alt rock band Coshish. Photo: Bharath Chandrasekar

There are concept albums and then there are albums like Firdous, the debut full-length by prog/alt rock band Coshish, which follows the story of a protagonist on his journey to attain nirvana. If you rip the CD and rearrange the songs according to hints and clues in the artwork, you can listen to the album, as “one giant track,” according to drummer Hamza Kazi, who is also part of comedy rock band Workshop.

Coshish has done everything from all-night video shoots to carefully placing hidden clues to an alternate track list in their album inlay. For their launch gig next month, they’ve made sure they have a visual projector that is synced to click with their instruments. The band’s spent nearly two years recording, producing and packaging the album, even signing on to Universal Music for a nationwide release on September 2nd. Kazi explains the move, saying, “Our aim is to surpass the Indian scene. It [Coshish] was a project too big for us. We’re a relatively small band, but our aims are huge.”

The band has created a puzzle sonically by dividing the album with alt rock tracks as the opening section and shifting to prog rock towards the end. When listeners browse the album inlay for clues,  they will find a way to rearrange their playlist to make it sound like a seamless concept album. Says vocalist and guitarist Mangesh Gandhi, who formed the band with guitarist Shrikant Sreenivasan in late 2006, “The album is packaged in a way that the listener discovers this guy’s story.” After spending more than a year on producing and putting together the album artwork, the physical copy of Firdous features inlay and photographs to help fans piece together the two versions of the story. Says Kazi, who was inspired by prog concept albums by bands such as Tool, Porcupine Tree and Pain of Salvation, “You have to write songs that fit a certain theme. It’s almost like making a movie. With Firdous, you can almost see a movie when you flip through the artwork.” Gandhi adds it was challenging to tackle songwriting in Hindi. Says Gandhi, “‘Maya’ is about how everything is an illusion and there’s a bigger sense of clarity when you die. It’s difficult to write about that in Hindi.” 

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Coshish launches Firdous at Blue Frog, Mumbai on September 11th, with a tour in the works in Trivandrum, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. Says Kazi, “We’re doing the entire album and throwing in a special cover of one of the best prog rock songs.” The band has also finished shooting a video for “Raaste,” which will release in the second week of September.

Listen to an audio sampler of Firdous. Preorder the album here.

 Coshish launches Firdous at Blue Frog, Mumbai on September 11th, 2013. Entry Free. Blakc and the Paradigm Shift also perform at the gig. Event details here.

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