An Indian trio playing Instrumental music is not something we get to hear about often. And then, we have KAAV, a band based in Vypin Island, Cochin, that is set to break all notions. Personally, I feel instrumental albums have low attention span, and without vocals, all the attention is paid towards the music, technical and melodic strength, which is a real tough task to accomplish. However, KAAV’s three- track EP quite does make the cut. And, with Baiju Dharmajan on board for the production, it certainly cannot get better.
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The E.P opens with DAYA that starts off with a catchy guitar riff with powerful drumming and moves into smoother, laid back guitar solos, subtly weaving in Indian Classical influences. The song slowly moves into heavier tones almost giving it more weight and on my first listen I am almost certain that it cannot get better than this.
Up next, PSHYCHE, is more ambient. The guitar has a trance like feel to it with a more rhythm riff structure. This too is light in the beginning and builds up to a heavier climax with interlaced tension, complemented by a crunchy rhythm along the many changes. Building up to a harder rhythm section, with progressive drum bits, it finally culminates with a bluesy bit, which is clearly the high point of this track.
Moving onto the last track, KETTUKATHA is the real deal and offers more to the sonic delivery of the album than any of the other tracks and is definitely my personal favourite. This is the track where one can actually feel the story. And with the imagery that the music creates, I’m almost glad this one has no lyrics. The bass is drives the melodies and harmonizes with the guitar and the background murmurs add an eerie third dimension to it. The change is almost abrupt as the tempo pumps up, and the graceful melodies transform into powerful, distorted solos. I appreciate the band’s idea to keep this track at the end of the list because it sure lingers on the mind of the listener.
Overall, KAAV’s E.P is a perfect listen for a drive in your car without distracting lyrics to concentrate on, or on a leisurely afternoon. It is a sound journey you embark on with the musicians who have a deep understanding to use the light and shade to give a feel to the music arrangements. Just a tad bit more articulate groove, and a few more numbers on the list, and I would have no reasons left to complain. Definitely worth a LISTEN!
click here Soma Dutta is a 22 year old student and music lover from Kolkata. A story teller at heart. She tells her stories through music, photographs, designs, and words. Loves to travel off to the hills once in a while. Musical influences- Eric Clapton, Santana, Steve Vai, John Mayer, Amyt Datta, The Corrs, Radiohead, Mutemath, Dido, KT Tunstall, Norah Jones , Diana Krall among others.