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Krameri Sets Up Slow, Sad Bops on New Album ‘Hampstead’

Vadodara-based singer and producer Damini Chauhan wrote the songs after a year and a half in London

Anurag Tagat Nov 09, 2020

Vadodara-based singer-producer Krameri aka Damini Chauhan. Photo: Friends' Republic

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In the world of Krameri aka Damini Chauhan, dreaming is everything. The singer, pianist and producer – based in Vadodara and previously studying in London – wandered into the area of Hampstead and found inspiration. “It was so charming and breathtakingly beautiful… like a secret village right in the middle of a city. I just wanted to capture it somehow and I imagined that I was writing a novel that was set there and made the album,” she says of her recently released second album Hampstead.

The 10-track album was born out of “millions of voice notes” that Chauhan had put down and sifted through on her homecoming flight to India. She then began working on the ideas that stuck. Offered as a love letter that traverses ambient, pop and hints of Indian classical vocals, Hampstead is an arresting, depressive listen that lives up to its ambitions of an intimate sonic experience. Gathering all her highs and lows from last year, classical-informed melodies heighten songs like “All This Time” and “Painting Illusions,” while there’s jaded electronic tunes like “Lonely In My Head,” produced by Mumbai/New York duo suspendednotes. On it, Krameri opens with the lines, “I just want to die when I’m not with you.”

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Watch the video for “All This Time” below.

Elsewhere, there’s unsettling string section-led cuts such as “Now It’s Complicated,” “Highgate Cemetary” and “Dark Days.” The only glimmer of optimism appears on the frigid juxtaposition of “Summer Stayed” and on the brighter electronic cut “Silver,” produced by Kerala beatsmith Gopi aka 6091. By the time you get to the reminiscing track “It Was Cold,” it’s plenty evident that Hampstead is a hypnotic late evening jam. Chauhan agrees and says, “I feel that this album is on the darker side and late evening or night would be a nice time to listen to it. It’s also more intimate and something you could enjoy alone or with a few people.”

Now back in India after a year and a half in London, Chauhan says she’s got new management and had time to reflect and process her experiences, which in turn spurs on the music making process. “Being at home and not having to worry about your next meal or how to get somewhere and being surrounded by loving family feels like a luxury and has given me this precious time to make more music,” she says.

With a little more ease setting in, Chauhan is also slowly reintegrating into the music space locally and nationally. She adds, “I feel a sense of community and support from musicians and music publications alike…a sense of everyone growing together, which is lovely.”

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Stream ‘Hampstead’ below. Listen on Spotify and Apple Music.

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