Donn Bhat Tones it Down on Third Album
One-man electro-rock band Donn Bhat explores technology and existentialism on his minimalistic new release ‘Connected’
On his third record, electro-rock artist Donn Bhat’s learnt that less is more. He says about Connected, “I’ve tried to do less. I think as a producer you realize you can say a lot more by doing a lot less, sometimes. So for me, this record is toning down a lot and going slightly minimal with my idea approach.”
The vocalist-guitarist-producer’s approach also changed when, according to him, he drew a running theme through all sevenÂ tracks on Connected””unlike 2012’s One Way Circle and 2013’s Passenger Revelator. Says Bhat, “Most of these songs are about the situations and challenges we find ourselves in as individuals, as lovers, as friends. And also as people who are dealing with a lot of technology””how that affects us, what do we lose and what do we gain.”
So while albumÂ opener and title track “Connected” communicates ironic emoji-era pathos (“You got me/I’m never signing out/I’m never gonna leave/ You’re the one I love/ You’re my plastic friend”), Bhat loads up on the airy synths and existentialism on “Spinning World” (“Spinning world/ Did you notice?/ Night from day/ Aren’t you bored yet/Of spinning away?”). A sarangi-tinted “The Storm” follows similar trippy suit, while “When The Beer is Over” veers towards angsty nostalgia, recalling Bhat’s years “growing up in Delhi” and the “friendships formed at that point”. “Desh Bhakti,” on the other hand, sees Bhat experimenting with a Hindi chorus for the first time: “We’re hoping it’s going to be our Honey Singh song that’s going to make us millions,” he jokes about the dark Teddy Boy Kill-esque track.
Connected–originally plotted as an EP—seesÂ Bhat take year-old live staples to his home studio and a few other studios around Delhi to record vocalist and long-time collaborator Ashhar Farooqui. He also worked with Kolkata-based ace producer Miti Adhikari (of Coldplay, Radiohead and Foo Fighters fame) to mix the record: “We took four nights in Cal (to mix); we had quite a party actually,” recalls Bhat. “It was a great experience.”
Apart from tentative shows with his live band Passenger Revelator (comprising Farooqui, percussionist Anand Bhagat and occasionally sarangi player Sohail Yusuf Khan), Bhat is already plotting his next EP: “This (Connected) is still very song driven and lyrical but the next one is going to be very instrumental. I’ve already started work on that.”
Listen to ‘Connected’ below.