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Exclusive Premiere: Kolkata Folk Trio Dot Three’s Earthy Instrumental Track ‘Hiraeth’

Gentle, stirring melodies come together on their first release of the year

Anurag Tagat Jan 13, 2021

Kolkata-based folk trio Dot 3. Photo: Courtesy of AVAKA

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As if straight from the middle of a forest somewhere, Kolkata-based folk trio Dot Three’s latest release “Hiraeth” is a calming yet playful testament to transportive songwriting.

The dexterous combo of acoustic guitars by Anik Bhattacharya and Shambo Jana, plus percussion and harmonica/melodica by Suman Dey emerged from the town of Diamond Harbour in 2017. By then, they had moved to Kolkata. Bhattacharya is a chemical engineering postgraduate, while Jana also graduated in chemistry but manages a grocery shop. Dey, a postgraduate in Bengali literature, has been a full-time musician from the start. “We got our first opportunity to perform in front of a live audience at Stadle, Calbunka, in September 2017. From then onwards we took every little step forward to create our own identity,” Bhattacharya says.

Rounding up their gig money (although they did play their fair share of unpaid gigs), Dot Three recorded an EP and released CDs (“It’s not on digital platforms, to revive the feeling of a Nineties kid,” says Bhattacharya) in July 2019 and received support from AVAKA, a Kolkata start-up for musicians. “We were just about to tour across some of the metro cities when we were struck by COVID-19, forcing us to retreat back into our town,” the guitarist says.

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They’re still doing odd jobs at the moment, but have managed to record new material over the span of a few months in 2020. “Hiraeth” immediately dives into lilting guitar melodies and layers, with minimal drum work weaving in and out as a determined melodica lead finds its way into the track. “You will find yourself relating our tunes with your own stories and experiences,” Bhattacharya says. Hints of Hindustani classical, jazz, ambient and “world folk” all come together in Dot Three’s blend. Bhattacharya adds, “We are mainly driven by nature and our surrounding lifestyle. Since we’re from Diamond Harbour, a riverside town, we’ve grown up with people who spend their lives fishing, farming and laboring in brick-fields. So we are very close to the soil, water and greenery, and hence these are the major elements influencing our sound, particularly in ‘Hiraeth.’”

The release is the title track off their upcoming four-track EP, which is in post-production at the moment. Bhattacharya adds about their plan for this year, “We can’t wait to get out of our homes again, travel to new cities to tell our stories and obviously to discover new ones.”

Listen to “Hiraeth” below.

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