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Listen: Farfetch’d Space Out on ‘Southern Skies Motel’

Bengaluru musician Akash Murthy turns to fingerstyle and percussive guitar for his ambient/post-rock project’s second album

Anurag Tagat Jul 13, 2016
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Bengaluru ambient/post-rock artist Akash Murthy aka Farfetch'd. Photo: Surabhi Nadig

Bengaluru ambient/post-rock artist Akash Murthy aka Farfetch’d. Photo: Surabhi Nadig

It’s been a strange trip for Bengaluru guitarist and producer Akash Murthy ”“ he started Farfetch’d, his ambient/post-rock project in 2011 and released his debut album The Alchemist in 2013, but started performing only over the last year. Now, there’s their second album Southern Skies Motel, which takes them in a direction Murthy knows they can’t pull off live. He says, “Some of these songs [on the album] —  we tried to play them live, but it never worked out because you need good mics and in-ear monitors, so it’s a studio-only album.”

The wistful seven-track album, which released last week, showcases Murthy’s fast-picking and tapping fingerstyle guitar skills as well as percussive guitar techniques, all of which are played on the acoustic guitar over ambient passages and delay-laden guitar layers. Inspired by American fingerstyle guitarist and post-rock artist Kaki King, Southern Skies Motel is, by Murthy’s own admission, music for a lazy day. Unlike The Alchemist, this album features two songs with vocals ”“ “This Incoherent Pale Sky” [which also features a tabla section by Bengaluru artist Vardhan Shenoy and “Collide.” And although Murthy says there was “no clear motivation” to include vocals and tabla, he says he wanted to “make an album for everybody”.

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If you ever needed to have an internal monolog or even a soliloquy, everything about Southern Skies Motel will not just set the mood, but even create it. What helps is the presentation as well ”“ the official site features streaming aided by short stories about introspection, set amidst surreal landscapes. Murthy explains, “I’ve always been interested in story-telling. This was to add a tinge of mystery and strangeness to the album, which is hard to do with instrumental music.” Evasive in their themes, song like “The Lunar Observatory,” “Bastion” and “Moonshine” are must-hear. The album closes with “Ambient Sketchbook,” which clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, featuring samples of rain and thunder while Murthy fills in the spaces with soft piano. By the next movement, the track opens into cinematic post-rock.

Listen to Southern Skies Motel. Buy/download the album here.

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