Exclusive Premiere: New Delhi Act Mocaine Introduces New Album in ‘Narcissus’ Video
‘The Birth Of Billy Munro’ is singer, guitarist and composer Amrit Mohan’s upcoming concept record
Singer-composer and artist Amrit Mohan’s indie project Mocaine has seen regular reinvention since 2015. It went from the American folk-inspired pieces on 2017’s The Remainder EP to a fitting homage to the Seattle sound on 2018 EP Portrait of Dali. Now, with Mocaine’s upcoming debut album and concept record The Birth Of Billy Munro, Mohan and his accompanying musicians journey into a heavy sound and begin showing signs of a new movement.
Mohan modestly gives most of the credit for the evolution of the songs to the people he’s worked with. On the first single “Narcissus,” Mocaine involves drummer Varun Sood (from post-hardcore band Pacifist and rockers Blakc), long-time producer Aman Arakh and bassist Kabir Agarwal (also a regular in the band for years now). The result is a turbulent, threatening and broody song, slightly different from the live demo version called “Waiting (Narcissus)” we heard on Portrait Of Dali.
Incepted in 2017, the song originally stemmed from a desert rock guitar melody Mohan had created. “Varun came in and replaced that stoner-ness with aggression. It’s come together as quite a puzzle,” he says. Unlike the demo, this album cut of “Narcissus” employs a more galloping urgency in the distorted guitar riffs, even if it’s grungily languid and cavernous at other times. While Agarwal retains his ominous bass leads, Mohan is his foreboding, half-cocky self with lyrics like: “There’s only two things I can’t do/One is die, and the other’s lose.”
The music video, which is edited by Mohan, gathers seemingly symbolic and interpretive footage that represents the characters from The Birth Of Billy Munro. He spent about four months on the video, trawling through over 5,700 stock videos and then contacting filmmakers to ask for possible B-rolls to tell a story of troubled figures. “I treated it as an experiment,” Mohan adds.
Inspired by Australian artist Nick Cave’s 2009 novel The Death of Bunny Munro, Mocaine’s own concept world also involves a novella, a short film (completely different from the music videos) and of course, the album, which is due later this year. There is already a second part to The Birth Of Billy Munro in the works, which will mark a shift in sound as well for Mocaine. “Now, I might try electronic, who knows? I have a saxophone solo in a song of mine. I’m gonna try more shit. It’s very liberating,” he says.