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A New Ticket To Ride: Inside Donn Bhat’s New Album

Mumbai electro rock artist Donn Bhat is wrapping up his second solo album ‘Passenger Revelator,’ featuring collaborations and remixes, slated to release next month

Jessica Kilbane Sep 30, 2014
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Donn Bhat  | Photo Credit: Blue Frog

Donn Bhat will perform at Zippo Encore on October 31st at Vivanta By Taj in Pune | Photo Credit: Blue Frog

There’s nothing more exciting than getting together with old friends to make new music, and that’s exactly what guitarist and producer Donn Bhat has been up to ever since he set up his band Passenger Revelator in 2012. The guitarist, who was part of Delhi alt rock band Orange Street, has roped in vocalist/guitarist Anirban Chakraborty and drummer Ashwin Andrews, both members of the now defunct band, to collaborate on his yet-to-be-released album Passenger Revelator. Bhat, who released his debut One Way Circle in 2006, says that the new album is less about his own experiences and more about giving his listeners an experience. He adds, “The common thread is emotional existentialism, but I always wanted to make music that could make people dance. This album is geared towards that, so I’ve tried to keep away from writing about myself and my experiences.”

For two years now, Bhat+Passenger Revelator, his live band, which included vocalist Sarosh Nanavaty, Delhi-based sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan, multi instrumentalist Sankarshan Kini and Andrews on drums, have been playing at gigs and festivals across the country including India Bike Week and Ziro Festival Of Music 2013. Adds Bhat, “For me, Passenger Revelator are the musicians who perform my songs live ”“ who have the freedom to improvise the music in a way that they give it life.”

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This month, Bhat and his band will perform in Pune for the finale of Zippo Encore, a new gig series. Although most of the musicians who have worked with Bhat in the last year are featured on the album, the artist’s live set-up will be considerably stripped down ”“ including only Toymob, Delhi electronica artist Ashhar Farooqui’s solo project and Andrews on drums. Says the producer, “It’s great to play with a band, but it’s a lot easier with a smaller set-up. The idea is to take the songs and turn them on their head. There’s some amount of risk involved with live improvisation, and that keeps you on your toes.”

When we last spoke to Bhat, he was in Delhi wrapping up the new album. He says, “Until recently, I had terrible social skills, so I ended up loving the idea of sitting in a room and making music ”“ it was such a liberating approach to songwriting. Each time you listen to a track you’re working on, you listen to it as a drummer, a bassist, a vocalist and it makes you reliant on yourself, it makes you a better songwriter. Computers can limit you in a lot of ways, but they can also free you.” Passenger Revelator will also feature a range of new instruments that Bhat has collected over the last few years, including a xylophone, shaker, trumpet, cajón and more.

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The album will feature a combination of new and old tracks such as “Stars Align,” “Disco Disco,” “Say It Again” and “Choke”, as well as two remixes by electronica producers, Frame/Frame from Mumbai and Delhi’s Audio Pervert.



Passenger Revelator Album Launch Tour

Blue Frog, Pune
October 10th, 2014

Blue Frog, Mumbai
October 15th, 2014

Encore Festival, Pune
October 31st, 2014

Zippo Encore ft Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator, Shaa’ir and Func, Madboy/Mink
October 31st, 2014
Blue Diamond, Vivanta by Taj, Pune
Passes will be available on rollingstoneindia.com soon

South Asian Bands Festival, New Delhi
November 9th, 2014


Listen to Passenger Revelator:


The album can be bought from here.

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