Aswekeepsearching Share Album Update, Launch Apparel Line
The post-rock band’s third full-length album will be mixed and mastered by Australian record producer Forrester Savell
After more than a year of planning, writing and recording, Pune-based post-rock band Aswekeepsearching‘s third album is nearing completion. While the title is yet to be revealed, the eight-track follow-up to 2017’s Zia will be ready by August, according to guitarist-vocalist Uddipan Sarmah.
The band has roped in Melbourne-based recording engineer Forrester Savell (who’s worked with the prog bands like Skyharbor, Karnivool and Animals As Leaders) to mix and master the album. Sarmah says, “He’s going to take a month from now to finally send us the final masters. Currently, the band is working on the music video plans and we’re looking for writers and a video team whom we’ll work with.”
Just as Zia featured guests such as percussionist-drummer Sambit Chatterjee and sitar artist Rishabh Seen, the new album also sees the band open the doors to new collaborators. Guwahati producer, vocalist and bassist Amitabh Barooa (from rockers Lucid Recess and electronic duo Lateral) has arranged a couple of songs, while Mumbai-based writer and singer Meg Dsouza has added backing vocals and layers throughout the album. Aswekeepsearching called back violinist-producer Ajay Jayanthi to add his touch on two tracks, while Chatterjee too gets on the tabla. Sarmah says, “There’s a sarangi player on one track.” Ustad AllaRakha Kalawant, who has performed alongside Indian classical veterans such as Zakir Hussain and Ustad Fazal Qureshi, is on a track called “Aas Pass.” Drummer Gautam Deb tells us, “I always wanted sarangi in that song, so while we were tracking the same song at Island City Studios (Mumbai), I was just venting to Sambit that we need a good sarangi player and can’t find one. He suggested (Kalawant) and within a week we finished the recording.”
New Delhi-based guitarist, vocalist and producer Ritwik De (from instrumental rock band Zokova and psych rock band Mindflew) has also composed guitar for two tracks, and ideas for other songs. He was involved with the tracking of the album, alongside Aswekeepsearching’s long-time producer Adhiraj Singh. The band is also working with visual design artist Aaquib Wani for not just album artwork, but also live production elements.
While there’s a similar listening session tour in the works that introduced fans to Zia – in August, across 15 cities – the band’s more immediate offering is entirely different. Zia is now an apparel and merch line launched by the band, selling shirts and more via their online store. Deb says the idea came to them last year and was ready to go by January. “Uddipan’s sister Tanaya is a designer. This is a full in-house company, to the core. We don’t have any brand. We’re going to the tailor. We’re not intending to do mass production, until the time comes and it picks up. We’re even getting the kapda (cloth) on our own,” Deb says.
It’s a separate brand for Aswekeepsearching, which possibly means a new line of revenue – in what sounds like a first for any independent band. “It’s a proper apparel line, because every three or four months we’ll have a new design, with limited stock. Right now we have 50 of these and they’ll never be made again. It’s exclusive and that’s what we plan to do it,” Deb says.