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Exclusive Release: Little Whales’ Debut Single ‘Maybe It Was the City’

Mumbai punk musician Vrishank Menon displays his emo/indie leanings on his new solo act’s first offering

Anurag Tagat Nov 26, 2016
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Little Whales' Vrishank Menon. Photo: Mari Uchida

Little Whales’ Vrishank Menon. Photo: Mari Uchida

About four years ago, Mumbai-bred guitarist and vocalist Vrishank Menon thought he’d test his solo material out at a college competition, after some persuasion from a friend. Menon, the frontman of rising Mumbai hardcore punk band, Death By Fungi, was turning to more lyrically and emotionally evocative songwriting under the moniker Little Whales. He says, “Some kids were snickering and laughing while I played. I stopped mid-song and said ”˜You kids don’t like these songs?!’ and left the stage and got myself some food. After that, I announced I wasn’t doing this anymore but I still wrote songs.” 

It was only earlier this year that Menon regained full confidence to turn those emo/indie-influenced songs around into a proper Little Whales EP, with help from recording engineer and producer Apurv Agrawal. Aryaman Chaterji from Death By Fungi adds drums on two tracks, including his first single “Maybe It Was the City.” 

Little Whales, which originally had one demo out, takes from the likes of Chicago indie band Owen, along with Canadian indie act The Weakerthans and other American bands at the front of the emo movement including American Football, Codeine, Christie Front Drive and UK act Slowdive. As Menon describes it, “[Stuff] that made me want to write music that wasn’t fast punk rock.” 

As is the case with the most hard-hitting emo music, there’s real grief that led to Menon’s renewed interest in starting up Little Whales. “Maybe It Was the City,” is a glum, slow song that leads into a poignant post-rock closing section. Menon says the EP is centred around his aunt whom he lost to cancer last year. “I wrote this years ago towards the end of adolescence. The whole EP deals with dealing with the death of my aunt – I was very close to her and her passing had a huge effect on my family.” 

With the EP slated to release in December and Menon taking his winter break from studying in Evanston, Illinois to return to Mumbai, there are plans of taking Little Whales live. 

Listen to “Maybe It Was the City” 

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