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Hear Pineapple Express Find Maturity In Madness on ‘Deja Vu’ EP

The Bengaluru fusion act take elements as far ranging as Rajasthani folk and djent on their latest

Anurag Tagat Aug 03, 2019

Bengaluru fusion band Pineapple Express. Photo: Shounak Roy

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Bengaluru-based composer, vocalist and keyboardist Yogeendra Hariprasad can rap and play synth like a wizard, but the co-founder of multi-genre/fusion act Pineapple Express says he actually thinks in terms of guitar riffs. He adds, “I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s the whole reason [electro-metal side project] The Yummy Lab happened. There was just so much guitar in my head, I thought, ‘What am I supposed to do with this?’”

With Pineapple Express’ second EP Deja Vu, which released today, the composer sat down with guitarist Ritvik Bhattacharya to compose songs even before their debut EP Uplift released last year. Hariprasad says of Bhattacharya, “He’s ridiculous – anything you sing, he can play on the guitar, no matter how impossible it is. He knows his fretboard really well. A lot of songs have sounded quite different before we did guitar tracking.” But clearly they changed even more after songwriting began. Songs like the Rajasthani vocal-employing “Colour” has flautist Arjun MPN breathing in a lightheaded vibe. It’s far removed from the riff-centric electronica/prog metal madness of the closing track “Phir Chale,” which touches upon mental health, anchored by Hariprasad’s quirky rap and violinist Shravan Sridhar. Even “Find You” is an emotive arena-rock ballad led by vocalists Karthik Chennoji Rao and Jimmy Francis John. There’s prog riffs from Bhargav Sarma and dexterous drum work from Gopi Shravan to open things off on “The Light,” but Deja Vu sees Pineapple Express arriving at a much more accessible, perhaps matured sound than before.

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Hariprasad says this is because of all eight members of the band and additional guests like violinist Narayan Sharma (a live member of folk rock band The Raghu Dixit Project who’s occasionally stepped in for Sridhar) and vocalist Ketki Herlekar from the Bangalore Broadway Company. The title comes from the idea that these songs offer a chance to relive the band’s live shows. But “the inside reason” is something else. Hariprasad says, “These are the happier songs – considerably happier than what we’ve released so far. We have a ton of songs on the upcoming album that are towards the proggier, heavier and darker side, in a sense. We wanted to not put those songs together with these on the EP.”

With the album in the works, the band will launch this EP tonight at Fandom at Gilly’s Redefined in Bengaluru. They don’t have a violinist on stage, but Hariprasad pumped to perform stand-alone singles like “Fire,” their collab with vocalist Benny Dayal which released last year. The keyboardist says, “Bangalore is going to be hearing ‘Fire’ for the first time. It’s quite a challenge, but Jimmy is nailing it, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Stream ‘Deja Vu’ below on Spotify and on more platforms here.

Pineapple Express performs at Fandom at Gilly’s Redefined, Bengaluru on August 3rd. Event details here.

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