New Delhi based band Dee En recently came out with their second EP Poppin’. The new EP comes a year after their debut album Whoopsie Daisy. Poppin’ explores a new dimension of synthpop and psychedelic fused with
groovy retro beats which remind you of the 70s and 80s.
The EP begins with ‘Circle’, Saurav Debnath’s vocals compliment the synth and guitar licks perfectly. The second track ‘Hope To Be’ continues the pattern of heavy synth with impressive guitar links. The retro vibe to the EP reaches its peak in the third track ‘Both of Us’. The fourth track in the EP ‘Milagro’ is probably the band’s most lively track from the EP and with the most singing. The synths take a backseat as guitar melodies make the track come alive as Debnath’s voice finds itself in a song about a lost love. A striking feature of the EP is the omnipresence of melancholy which permeates every track. The EP doesn’t sound like ‘sad’ music, but rather a celebration of melancholy and human emotions. The band successfully replicates emotion with sound. Each track means to stir a certain emotion inside the listener. The most sonically complex song in the EP is also the longest one, ‘Cokehead’. Arpan’s bass finds more prominence in the first half of the song which follows the same pattern of heavy synths and Debnath’s vocals. However, halfway through the song ‘collapses’, the sounds begin to fade out, the repeated beeps almost take you back to the sounds of a video game designed in the 80s. The song makes you see with music, the sounds of explosions and repeated beeps (which also remind you laser guns) take the listener through a journey of sound, guided by changing harmonies and notes. The song picks up pace once again with more machine-like sounds from the 80s. As the notes speed up, and the song begins to near its conclusion and reaches a stage of fuzz and finally, fades out into silence, ‘Cokehead’ represents the musical ambition of Dee En, and also, their potential which lacks in the first two tracks. However, the band manages to make a great attempt at storytelling with its songs, the best example is ‘Cokehead’.
The EP doesn’t make much use of Debnath’s vocal talent however, it doesn’t fail to impress with its unique concoction of sounds and styles. The production and mixing are well done as one can hear the layers of guitar and bass in the songs. The EP also delivers a new sound, compared to the band’s last album Whoopsie Daisy which shows their immense potential and brings the hope of more ambitious sounds in the future.
Keeping the repetitive sounds aside, the EP delivers a great sonic experience with the retro and melancholic vibe to it and most definitely serves as an incredible addition to India’s growing independent music scene.
Hear the EP below: