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Still Got Zing: Goldspot – Aerogramme

The third album from the US-based indie rock band is catchy, but allows a few good anecdotes go to waste

Anurag Tagat Nov 26, 2013
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Goldspot lead vocalist Siddhartha Khosla Photo: Courtesy Goldspot

Goldspot lead vocalist Siddhartha Khosla Photo: Courtesy Goldspot

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The cover art for Goldspot's third album Aerogramme

The cover art for Goldspot’s third album Aerogramme

It’s established now that American indie rock band Goldspot’s frontman Siddhartha Khosla is in love with nostalgia. Goldspot’s breakout album, The Tally of the Yes Men [2005] had “Rewind” and although major themes on 2009’s And the Elephant is Dancing were about call-center girls and grocery stores, there was the acoustic album closer “Miss Johnson,” about a high-school crush that never developed. Four years later, Khosla goes even further back in time with Aerogramme.

He’s already singing about “going back to the start of things” on the dreamy opener “Abyss,” which hooks you with a harmonium section that recalls Sixties Hindi film music. The sunny guitar tones help just as much, twanging out loud on “Evergreen Cassette,” where Khosla recalls cassette tapes he received from his U.S-based parents while he was in India. But like previous Goldspot albums, Khosla channels vintage Bollywood synth tones over pop rock drumming and guitar riffs. Among legendary Indian singers, Khosla emulates Kishore Kumar. If a dance rock cover of “Ina Mina Dika” wasn’t proof enough, Goldspot cover everything from melancholy [“New Haven Green”] to pride [on the single “The Border Line”] with Khosla’s delivery never failing.

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They dabble in a bit of electronica with “Monkey on my Rooftop,” which doesn’t go their way at all and ends up a waste of one of Khosla’s good anecdotes. Despite a few duds, Goldspot attempt at turning upbeat later on the album, with the Talking Heads-esque “Resident Alien” and the funky “Somewhere In the East” work out. Even then, Goldspot pushes the same formula – acoustic guitars over a simple drum beat.

They end the album half-heartedly on “One and the Same,” which sounds like it was hastily thrown together with reverb-heavy vocals, disco drum and bass grooves and the signature harmonium included. For an album that starts off with promise as warm as its guitar tones, Aerogramme isn’t satisfying as a whole. Fans may just do a Khosla and start reminiscing – about earlier Goldspot works.

Key tracks: “Abyss,” “Evergreen Cassette.” 

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