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Tripura Folk Fusion Band Koloma Release Laidback New EP ‘Chapmanliya’

The five-track record includes songs about longing, love and more

David Britto Nov 19, 2020

Tripura folk fusion band Koloma. Photo: Mack Jamatia

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Tripura folk fusion band Koloma are no strangers when it comes to India’s independent music scene. The band – comprising vocalist-guitarist Rumio Debbarma, guitarist Bhaskar J. Debbarma and drummer Shimul Debbarma – already have two records to their name, 2015’s debut effort Mwrwi Mwrwi and 2018’s Kothoma. After dropping their single “Saichwng Saichwng” last year, the group is now back with a brand new five-track EP titled Chapmanliya.

With a wealth of material already under the belt, ask Koloma if that’s challenged them to evolve as artists over time. Shimul says, “We always try to give a different sound to our listeners keeping the consistency of Tripuri folk flavors.” He adds, “The approach of the band has evolved a lot per se. Focusing more to bring a signature sound of the band as a primary object.”

The new record, the title of which translates to “a state of confusion,” had lyrics written by Rumio quite a while ago. Unfortunately, the band found it hard to make time to get into a studio to flesh out the songs due to personal commitments. “Ultimately, this pandemic brought us together and we started working around May,” says Bhaskar.

Chapmanliya is filled with plenty of folk instrumentation, electric guitar stabs, flourishing acoustic guitar strums, dynamic changes led by syncopated drum grooves, delightful vocals sung in the band’s native language Kokborok and more. While the band stays true to their Tripura folk sound, they also experiment with indie pop, electro-folk and post-rock elements across the record. Shimul says, “All the songs of this EP signify and highlights feelings that we get confused or astonished with. Be it the feelings felt during love at first sight, long-distance love or even the feelings in relation to homesickness.”

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Koloma began recording the EP at their home studio before heading into the Agartala-based Hill Folk Studio where they completed it. The band roped in bassist Binoy Debbarma to add to the record while Hill Folk’s Kabir Jamatia mixed and mastered the tracks.  

On their agenda now is to put out a music video for the EP’s opener “Naira Naira” next month. The band is also working on the background score for a local movie. Rumio says, “As things get normal we will plan our tour and gigs.”

Stream ‘Chapmanliya’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.

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