Mumbai’s Short Round Collaborates With Pals on Sophomore EP ‘With Friends Like These’
Singer-songwriter Jishnu Guha’s seven-track record features Siddharth Basrur, Saurabh Roy, Mali and more
In March of last year, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Jishnu Guha aka Short Round released his five-track melancholic debut EP Desperate Times. Since then, the vocalist/guitarist has played a number of club gigs, a Sofar Sounds session and most recently, the Control Alt Delete 10 festival in Mumbai alongside his band, which is made up of keyboardist Rohan Rajadhyksha (Spud in the Box), bassist Adil Kurwa (Last Remaining Light) and drummer Aditya Ashok (Ox7gen). With a whole host of new experiences under his belt, the singer-songwriter is now back with his second EP, With Friends Like These.
The theme that unites the seven-track EP is that it is a wholly collaborative record. “I just called a bunch of people that I’ve known for a while and said give me a week of your time and let’s see what happens,” says Guha. And they gave him plenty of time: With Friends Like These is filled to the brim with features from the likes of vocalist/guitarist Siddharth Basrur from alt rockers Last Remaining Light, Saurabh Roy from punk rock outfit The Lightyears Explode, Chicago-based singer Anna Holmquist, and Mumbai-based singer-songwriters Mali, Fat Yellow Moon and Rahul Pais (formerly of Guha’s rock band The SOS). “The only agenda I had was that I just wanted to play with as many people as possible because it’s more fun,” says the singer-songwriter.
On With Friends Like These, Guha cleverly incorporates the ‘intro’ and ‘outro’ formats with the delicate 40-second instrumental “Introvert” and its continuation “Outrovert,” which feature minimal vocals. “Losing Day” features Basrur, and also doubles as Guha’s ode to Basrur. “Nowhere To Go” is built around a flash of inspiration that Roy brought into the studio with him. “It’s a very indulgent song,” says Guha. The folksy “Autumn” features Pais and Mali and is, in Guha’s opinion, one of the stronger songs on the record. “This is a very vivid song about people waiting through thick and thin for somebody they love, trust and want back in their life,” explains the singer-songwriter.
With Friends Like These was recorded at Guha’s home studio in the wee hours of the night, because of the singer-songwriter living near a train station. “I needed to wait till the trains shut up for me to play,” jokes Guha. The record was produced and mixed by Mumbai sound engineer Zain Calcuttawala and then sent to Midicore Studios where it was mastered by Mumbai-based producer Ayan De.
The singer-songwriter also shot a video series for the record, titled With Friends Like These:: Acoustic Takes. The videos showcase Guha and the featured artist performing the songs live in a homely and laid-back environment. “If I love a record, I need to hear a live rendition of it because I get suspicious of what went on during the recording process,” says Guha. The videos will be released one at a time throughout April. He says, “Since these songs are simple, we did much of it in one take.”
Guha is currently signed to Mumbai record label Kadak Apple Records. “They are taking care of my bookings and there will be gigs and tours in May,” says Guha. “We want people to get into the record first.” Guha has already started writing material for his next EP which he has tentatively titled EP 3. It looks to be far less collaborative than his last, though. “The current path is that my next record will be just me and Rahul Pais,” says Guha.
Listen to ‘With Friends Like These’ here. Watch the video for “Losing Day” featuring Siddharth Basrur below: