An independent musician from Nagpur, Bharat Rajagopalan is a multi-instrumentalist. He has done his master’s in engineering acoustics at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He plays the electric guitar, percussive fingerstyle guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. He also produces, mixes, and masters tracks. In May 2020, he released his first single ‘Paper Kite’ featuring Manjunatha Bairi.
His latest album ‘Writer’s Block’ is a collection of acoustic finger-style songs that he wrote over the past few years as a way of dealing with his anxiety. Not being able to produce enough content inspired the name of the album. The artist who is on a mission to create something meaningful and relatable has been as vulnerable and authentic as possible in this album.
Released on the 11th of November, ‘Writer’s Block’ is a 30-minute album with a total of 9 songs. It starts with the track ‘Writers’ Block’ and begins with a guitar intro. With its finger-style melody and chords, the track sets the mood for the album. With its subtle pathos, the instrumental hints at the beginning of writer’s block. The guitar progression tries to convey the restlessness that an artist who is trying to get out of the funk may experience. It also captures the boredom that a block might carry along with the heavy sigh at the end.
‘Comfort doesn’t last,’ the second track brings out the familiarity of a comfort zone through its familiar tune. Considering how the album is quite personal to the artist, one can observe how he is trying to speak and make conversations with his guitar. There are traces of erratic breathing and an underlying tone of monotony, that conveys the message of the song. Towards the end, the song tries building emotions like anger and frustration, like having a war with oneself.
The next track ‘Losing a friend’ captures old memories that are tainted. You can see them, but there’s grief attached to those memories now. An explosion of emotions, it speaks of a griever’s frustrations and his/her feeble attempt of trying to make sense of what’s happening.
‘A quiet relapse,’ on the other hand is a silent struggle. The track deals with the fast falls relapses can have, till the time it gets too loud.
The fifth song ‘Let go nonetheless,’ is a tug of war with the narrator on the loser’s side. It captures the need for control with its repetitive melody sequence while ‘Stop and think’ is a nagging feeling around which thoughts are constructed.
‘Good day’ is an album that brings out the essence of the theme of the album. It brings out the vulnerability of Rajagopalan when he tries to convey what a good day for a person with anxiety might look like. It’s a glimpse of the sun on a cloudy day. There’s a mellow shadow tune that slowly fades over time, paving way for a much softer, sweeter melody. The relatively slow track that says how on some days, you can manage better, which makes a whole lot of difference.
While the eighth track ‘Home’ is a mixture of all kinds of emotions, the last song of the album ‘Go easy’ asks the listeners not to be hard on themselves. The distorted, off-key guitar notes, in the end, are a perfect representation of us imperfect humans. On the whole, Rajagopalan has shown that he is unafraid to speak his truth in this album. It serves as a gentle reminder and makes one question’s inner demons and gives courage required to face them.