Aswekeepsearching has been one of the fastest growing bands in the Indian independent music scene owing to their eclectic and soothing nature of their songs which strike a mollifying chord with the listeners. Their innovative use of soundscapes to be able to create something new for the fans is what helped them storm on to the scene.
Having made their mark, aswekeepsearching has always strived to bring something new to the table with every release. All 3 of their full-length album releases bear testament to this fact as the band explores every avenue to be able to offer something that would keep the fans at the edge of their seats in terms of their expectations.
As the time came around for the release of the band’s 4th album, we at the Indian Music Diaries promptly got in touch with them to find out as much as they dare reveal. They’re calling the album “Sleep” because they’ve packed this album with a collection of beautifully composed, mesmerizing tunes that have a dreamy accent with a view to help listeners sleep better.
We asked the band for more information and a better insight into the creative process and the ideas behind the inception of their new album.
This album comes very shortly after your last full length album and you’re calling “Sleep” an extension of ROOH. What’s the reason behind this?
Shubham: Shortly after the Rooh launch tour we wanted to write something that would serve as an outlet to calm ourselves down during some mental distress that we were personally facing in our lives. This allowed us to explore a new uncharted territory of full-blown ambient-soundscape songwriting, something that neither we nor anyone else in India had done before. Since we began composing ‘sleep’ not so long after the release of ‘Rooh’, it feels like an extension of emotions flowing from one album to another, just that the latter one serves a different purpose of relaxing one’s thought and help them get a more peaceful ‘sleep’.
You have said that this album is to help with people with sleep disorder or anxiety or to help people calm down. How effective do you think music therapy can be as an alternate healing technique?
If you notice, these are the sounds that were always there in our past albums. It just wasn’t very prominent. I was facing a lot of issues with anxiety, I had the worst of my time while going to sleep. That’s when I started looking for sleep music. While listening to these tracks that helped me fall asleep, I realized AWKS has this character. I spoke to the band to make this album, everyone came on board majorly because they cared about me and wanted to help me get through my tough times but also because this is a sound we have always loved.
Music can play a huge role, especially if you connect to a certain kind of music. We believe ‘Sleep’ can add some calmness to your moments when needed. For example, Adhiraj was not part of the songwriting, but while he was mixing the songs, he was going through a tough time with his health, being hospitalized and hitting fever to a crazy level. All the heavy meds were making it difficult for him to sleep. The sounds from this album did help him and he is still under the so-called sleep therapy, playing this album every night and he says it helps. I guess we are creating something genuine and not just music with just an agenda.
While working on this album, did you explore or learn any form of music therapy?
Robert: Not actively Music Therapy, no. We have been exploring methods like meditation, usage of apps like headspace/calm to temporarily disconnect from our surroundings. Our goal with the album was simply trying to explore what would be the best type of music to be played after a long busy day when the body and mind are fatigued, what would help it unwind while we lay down on our beds.
The album artwork is very interesting and each song has a different art work. All the songs have a separate music video too, Tell us a bit about concept and the story being conveyed by them and how important do you think is it to provide a visual aspect to your sound?
Robert: Each song has a different story to tell, sonically and visually. And that story could be different for different people, it’s upon how they perceive it. We have used minimal movements of very simple elements, elements we see in our daily lives, in both our art and visuals. It reminds us not to forget the simple things and the small joys, an appreciation for everything around us, mostly an appreciation of self.
Gorkey Patwal (Filmmaker): The past few days have been strange and on loop as we sit at home while the planet is taking a hard reset. With this video we wanted to depict what staying in and has been for a lot of us and how it is ok to be not productive at all. It’s ok if you are not able to do new things or even do the old ones. This is not a competition and all of us have to support each other so that we all come out of this healthy and better.
Uddipan: The initial idea was to release the album as a surprise in Feb 2020. But after hearing the scratches, I got this random idea of collaborating with filmmakers. The music sounded quite cinematic, something fresh. We called for entries through social media and we received a bunch of them. I spoke to a few and things took off immediately. We were all on the same page and it got us excited to have 8 videos. I am damn excited to release all of them because I worked with every filmmaker so closely every day while filming and completing the videos. It was a new experience for me as Filmmaking is a different universe. Note, these are not music videos, these are minimalistic short films.
We’ve heard that the album was recorded in Kolkata, where the band spent an a week staying and exploring together. Tell us a little about the experience and whether it influenced the creative process of the album in any way?
Oh no, we didn’t record this album in Kolkata. It was indeed recorded in my living room in Pune.
We were in Kolkata a couple of months ago to work on our next full-length album, which will be out in 2021 and it will have a lot of character from Kolkata. We never felt so connected to a metro in terms of creativity. Kolkata is completely our vibe. Food, culture, architecture, the beautiful people and everything else in between. Just wow!
How is the upcoming record different from the previous works of Aswekeepsearching?
Sambit: These songs are so different but so much aswekeepsearching. You won’t think anyone except us could bring this out. We take a lot of time realizing and learning from around us. These songs are not entertaining, but mindful. Not happy but thoughtful. This will help throughout your life and will calm you if you’re otherwise