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Exclusive Premiere: Anoushka Shankar’s Meditative New Music Video ‘Those Words’

The song, which is part of the sitar player’s new EP ‘Love Letters,’ features singer Shilpa Rao and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Rolling Stone India Aug 24, 2020

Anoushka Shankar in the video for "Those Words" from her recently released EP 'Love Letters'

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For those who have followed Anoushka Shankar’s music journey closely, the sitar player’s latest song “Those Words” will evoke a sense of nostalgia and reverie similar to her 2013 single “Traces of You.” Both songs carry the weight of loss and longing, chronicling a vulnerable time in the musician’s life.

In the just-released video for “Those Words,” Shankar features alongside popular playback singer Shilpa Rao, British cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Norwegian dance exponents Guro Nagelhus Schia and Vebjørn Sundby. The video is vibrant and vivid, and directed by Shankar herself, who once again, captures her love of the wholesome summer bloom. Although the video pieces together footages sent in individually by the far-flung artists, it showcases Shankar’s signature cinematic flair, which generously employs bright hues and unhurried shots.

Watch the video for “Those Words”:

The collaboration between the musicians on “Those Words” has resulted in a composition that is meditative and melancholic. Says Shankar, “Ayanna came over with an open heart, a secret recipe and the seed of a new melody, which I tended and helped grow. We wrote a poem about memories, loss, and nostalgic words. Shirin Anandita took our original poem and helped it evolve into beautiful Punjabi lyrics of her own. Finally, Shilpa Rao shared her gorgeous voice with us to bring those lyrics to life.”

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“Those Words” is part of Shankar’s latest EP Love Letters, which will be released as a special edition 12-inch vinyl to mark Record Store Day 2020 on August 29th. The six-track EP is one of Shankar’s most honest, intimate, and courageous records so far, channeling traumas both physical and emotional. “These were difficult times, which pushed me into some very vulnerable places,” says the Grammy Award-nominated artist, adding, “I’ve written from a personal place before, but this time there was something particularly tender about the process. It was a creative challenge to be brave enough to allow the music to remain as raw as it began.”

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