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The Hills Are Alive on Worms’ Cottage’s Stunning New Folk-Electronic EP

Bengaluru musican Rishabh Iyer transports you to faraway lands on the four-track ‘To Each Their Own’

Urvija Banerji May 24, 2017
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23-year-old Rishabh Iyer makes rich, warm music as Worms' Cottage. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

23-year-old Rishabh Iyer makes rich, warm music as Worms’ Cottage. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Most music has the ability to transport its listeners to a different place, but Worms’ Cottage’s warm, crepuscular tunes are particularly effective. There are only four songs on the Bengaluru-based producer’s new EP, To Each Their Own, but even that is enough to make you feel as though you are overlooking the rolling hills of McLeodGanj in Himachal Pradesh or some other remote hill station. Unsurprisingly, Rishabh Iyer, the 23-year-old student and mastermind behind Worms’ Cottage, loves spending time in the hills. Perhaps more unexpected is the fact that he wrote To Each Their Own over the course of two years while he wasn’t in the hills.

“But I’m always thinking of hill stations that I’ve been to while I make music,” says Iyer. “It’s always at the back of my head.” What Bon Iver is to the woods, Worms’ Cottage is to the hills.

Iyer, who is currently finishing up a degree in film and animation at an arts and design college, grew up training in Hindustani classical vocals, the tabla, and the drums. He picked up the guitar eventually, and then he decided he was done with learning instruments. After attempting and failing to start a band while at college in Pune, he shifted his focus to his electronic side project, Worms’ Cottage (a marriage of words that he likes the sound of).

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This EP, released in early April, marks a departure from Iyer’s previous work as Worms’ Cottage, which was entirely electronic and included vocals. The whole recording is instrumental, and To Each Their Own opener “The Simplest Thing” is almost entirely acoustic. “When I listen to the other two albums, I don’t think of things that I’ve personally experienced; they’ll be more scientific, or [I’ll think of] weird animals dancing, or something,” says Iyer. “This one, it comes from things that I’ve experienced in the past two years, so each song would take me to a particular moment. It’s more personal.”

Iyer remains tight-lipped as to which exact moments the songs take him back to. He believes that if he were to reveal his own personal attachments to a song, its dimensions would be narrowed for other listeners. “You should have your own emotional attachment to it,” he says.

When Iyer graduates later this year, he plans to find a job in animation, if he can, but intends to continue making music as Worms’ Cottage on the side. Though he’s currently located in Bengaluru and is originally from Gurgaon, he has no desire to be in either place after graduation. “ I’m gonna try for a place like Sikkim, I think,” he says. Is there any surprise there?

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Listen to ‘To Each Their Own’ below:

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