The beginning of Parvaaz’sfirst EP happens with Fidel D’Souza, the band’s bassist. The first song, Behosh, from their eponymous 2012 EP, features an opening surging bassline with Kashif, the lead guitarist, filling in with harmonic notes and making his full-fledged entry with a guitar slide a few seconds after. Sachin, the band’s drummer, makes way at the same time Kashif does and sets the rhythm of the song much before you notice it. Khalid, vocals and guitar, finally makes himself roobaroo (make known) to the listener with an energetic verse in Urdu followed by one in Hindi. This one song has everything. Everything you love about Parvaaz. Their want to make something their own. Their need to give each band member their space to do their thing. Their need to be themselves before anything else. You can clearly see this Parvaaz, even more, in their latest release ‘Kun’.
Having had the pleasure to hear the album in July at a listening session in Delhi, we were excited for its release. With its date being pushed from August to September to now finally, October, the excitement for the album and the wait only intensified. This mammothian 9-track production, now unleashed onto the world, aces in quality. The pre-production, recording and mixing/mastering of this album has taken two full years, been recorded at the majestic and well-equipped Yash Raj Films Studios in Mumbai. Only their second album since the band’s inception, 5 years after ‘Baran’ and with the release of 2 singles in 2017, ‘Kun’ is the most the band has ever been themselves. With the sound and arrangement lying somewhere between the tender artsiness of ‘Baran’ and the raw rock featured on ‘Behosh’, this album is hopefully melancholic. It is not an album made to be heard in groups, rather to be enjoyed with intimate listening many times over.
With Kun you might face the same feeling of having to not being able to remember anything concrete after the first listening but still gravitating towards putting on it for repeated listening sessions. This is because of the will to discover the sheer complexity in musicality the album possesses. It is almost as if the album has a magical rope tethered from your heart to the band’s heart, guiding you slowly into it. ‘Soye Ja’ is an exception, with you being able to instantly recall the chorus and being able to hum it after. Very different from their debut of the live version of the track at NH7 Weekender 2018, ‘Soye Ja’ on the album is gentler and more innocent. ‘Kun’ sees the band use their Kashmiri folk motif in more interesting ways, blending it effortlessly with the sensibilities of modern rock. This makes the album even more important from a cultural point of view since only a few bands in the country have been managed to marry both their Indian roots and their western likings together, none having gained the cult following Parvaaz commands as of today.
The album is everything a fan wants and everything a band wants to do. Parvaaz is proving to be not just one of the frontrunners of the rock movement in the Indian subcontinent but a distinct voice from a larger Asian standpoint as well. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Parvaaz, probably more international tours and a slow and steady global recognition attributed to their unfaltering musical sense. The band starts a tour to support their new album at the end of this year.