Faridkot’s Second Turn: ‘Phir Se?’ Album Review
The Delhi psychedelic rock band ditch love songs for stories about life and the universe
After finishing up as finalists on the 2009 edition of televised band competitionÂ Launchpad, Delhi pop rock band Faridkot went on to release their debut albumÂ Ek, which probably brought them much closer to becoming a band whose sound recalled Hindi film music.
But then, they went through a lineup change and spent the next three years turning to music from prog rock bands such as The Mars Volta and Rx BanditsÂ andÂ other psychotropic substances. Founding members IP SinghÂ (vocals),Â Rajarshi Sanyal (guitars) and Sahil Mendiratta (drums) are still doing what they originally set out to do with Faridkot ”“ change the perception of Hindi rock. Some of the pop hooks still stay on their 10-track second album,Â Phir Se?, but it’s clear that the lyrical and sonic agenda has changed.
Straight from the powerful opener “Aina,” which includes a sarangi solo in true rockstar fashion from Suhail Yusuf Khan (from fusion band Advaita), Faridkot throw in layered psychedelic rock, movie dialog samplesÂ and advice to thrash the rules of the world.Â Singh leads the vocals ”“ mixing up rap rhymes and smooth croons and even a duet with singer Aditi Singh Sharma overÂ Mendiratta’sÂ machine-gun drums on “Guls.” While samples-in-charge Akshay Raheja and bassist Gavin Pacheco left the band in 2012, FaridkotÂ brought in NikhilÂ Rufus Raj (bassist from garage rock band The Superfuzz)Â in 2013.
Just beforeÂ wrapping upÂ Phir Se?Â the bandÂ roped in their latest recruit, keyboardist Akshat Taneja, from prog metal band Guillotine,Â toÂ add dreamy layers of synth and complement guitarist Sanyal’s funky riffs on “Nuts.” Adding several other layersÂ ofÂ vocal harmonies by backing singers Sonam Gaychen Wangdi and Subhadra Kamath (from electronica act Tankbund) on the hook-filled “Bijli,” “Titliyaan” and “Laparwah.”
Faridkot go against all pop conventions despite retaining some elements of pop (like on the semi-acoustic song “Suno”) onPhir Se?, with the average song length touching five minutes.There’s not a dull moment onÂ Phir Se?Â and for a band that promotes free living and stargazing, you shouldn’t expect any different.
Key tracks: “Aina,” “Bijli,” “Laparwah”
Faridkot Phir Se? tour dates:
May 30th – Blue Frog, New Delhi. Free entry
June 4th – Blue Frog, Mumbai. Free entry
June 6th – Euriska, Pune
June 7th – CounterCulture, Bengaluru
June 12th – Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad
June 13th – Someplace Else, Kolkata
Listen to a teaser of “Bijli”