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Rainburn On Why They Reimagined Their Songs for ‘Resignify’ EP

The Bengaluru prog rock band turn it down and explore new sonic territory, with fusion and piano renditions of songs from their debut album ‘Insignify’ and ‘Canvas of Silence’ EP

Anurag Tagat Nov 26, 2019

Bengaluru prog rock band Rainburn - Ravi Nair, Vats Iyengar, Paraj Kumar Singh, Praveen Kumar (from left). Photo: Piyush Kumar Pandey

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Bengaluru rock musician Vats Iyengar – frontman of prog band Rainburn – mentions The Beatles when he’s asked about why he chose to release the group’s Resignify EP. It’s a collection of songs taken from their 2018 debut album Insignify and fed through a new lens, including heavier live recordings and reflective piano-led renditions and a fusion-leaning rework. Like when he was talking about Insignify, the vocalist and guitarist brings up the topic of pretentiousness in music.

As long as his music avoids pretenses, he’s fine with it. Iyengar adds, “Thankfully the boundaries of what a progressive band can do are really huge. Even if it weren’t, I wouldn’t have any fears about alienating anyone. It just goes back to loving the Beatles so much – they had an audience of millions of people and they just did Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Comparatively, our audience is really small in size. If they didn’t fear losing their audience then I definitely have no reason to worry.”

The five-track EP took shape after Rainburn had a live version of their song “Suicide Note” and an acoustic version of “Elusive Light” recorded. They eventually added a live version of the equally heavy and morose “Someone New: Another Night” and three studio recorded reworks. There’s a brooding, threadbare version of “Veil” from their 2014 EP Canvas of Silence, plus “Suicide Note” turning evocative with help from pianist Akash Kumar.

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Iyengar explains that all the songs on Insignify had some “departure point” rooted in a Hindustani classical raag. That explains why Rainburn called on violinist Adarsha Ramakumar for “Elusive Light: Resignified.” Iyengar says, “This one was taking from raag Desh – I just thought it’d be nice to have a melodic instrument to get on it. It was quite free form though, I didn’t tell Adarsha much in terms of what kind of sound I wanted. I left it up to him to do what he felt like.” Rainburn’s live guitarist Paraj Kumar Singh, interestingly, comes on board as a tabla player for the song.

Resignify is released via Bengaluru label Unherd, which was launched earlier this year by Ramakrishnan Krishnan, promoter behind gig series Unscene. Iyengar, who has previously worked with Krishnan on gigs including Progworks on Wheels in 2016, says they’re gearing up for a full-length album release next year. “It’s really exciting. It just comes from a certain faith in seeing Ram work, with Unscene and conversations with him about the label.”

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