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Mumbai Singer-Songwriter Gaurav Jagwani Addresses Addiction and Anxiety on New EP ‘Whiskey & Philosophy’

The record is the fourth and final in the musician’s series of releases called ‘Discussing Drinks’

David Britto Oct 20, 2020

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Gaurav Jagwani. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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If you followed the country’s independent music scene closely at the start of the decade, you’d be familiar with an acoustic duo called The Yellow Pages, who released their debut album The First Edition in 2012. A member of the band was seasoned Mumbai singer-songwriter Gaurav Jagwani, who has gone on to release a plethora of music as a solo artist ever since. Jagwani’s latest offering is his immersive new five-track EP Whiskey & Philosophy.

The musician – who dropped his 10-track debut solo album Silence… And A Child in 2016 – began plotting a series of concept EPs called Discussing Drinks way before he started recording the album. He says, “This conceptual series goes back at least a decade.” Under Discussing Drinks Jagwani released the EPs Conversations Over Coffee and Tantrums Over Tea in 2018 and put out Wine & Photography last year. Jagwani says, “These EPs in the series were about confronting loss, celebrating life, and chasing love.”

The fourth and final installment of the series is Whiskey & Philosophy in which the singer-songwriter sings about anxiety and addiction. On the record opener “My Dream” we hear crunchy guitars along with heavenly string parts creating an almost cinematic listen. “I talk about fighting one’s own anxiety here,” he says. Jagwani paints a barren desert on the raspy “The Light” which according to him touches upon the inner light within people. The artist says, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, we are the light.”

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The psychedelic “Mt. Franklin” is in regard to “leaving our past behind and moving into an illusion thinking we’re doing better.” A massive Noel Gallagher fan himself, Jagwani admits that the emotional “Your Shadow” has been influenced by the former Oasis guitarist. He says, “It’s that last struggle to get an addict on the other side.” The EP closes with the solemn “Sober in December,” a song that Jagwani penned 12 years ago. He says, “I never thought this song would see the light of day, but I guess it had to come out at some point. It talks about the actual recollection of losing someone to addiction.”

While Jagwani initially meant for Whiskey & Philosophy to be an electronica record, he settled on his more familiar country, folk and rock roots. The singer-songwriter says, “I have always loved dubstep as a genre and that was the plan. To do something totally different.” He adds, “I started working on the EP by myself but there was a certain disconnect when I heard the series together.” That’s when the artist roped in Mumbai producer Lima Yanger to help him flesh out the record. The pair recorded, mixed and mastered Whiskey & Philosophy at Yanger’s home studio while Norway-based Gaute Johannesen programmed drums for it.

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Through the course of the lockdown, Jagwani has spent time writing more music. His plan for the future is to release two EPs next year, a gospel folk one and a country/Americana sounding record. The artist also wants to get his Hindustani instrumental music out to listeners. “Maybe that’ll come out too,” says Jagwani.

Stream ‘Whiskey & Philosophy’ below and hear the rest of ‘Discussing Drinks’ here

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