Gaurav Balani has been a regular in the Delhi music circuit. Having played countless shows with Parikrama and Shubha Mudgal’s ensemble as a bassist, it was not until a few years ago that Gaurav channelled his creative output into his solo project called Inalab. Assembling a group of talented musicians to work on the project, Gaurav’s work on Inalab has finally taken shape in the form of a debut EP called The Commons.
The 5 track EP, which sits on the legs of various genres, including a mix of electronica, is what makes the release a treat to listen to. Although the project began with only Gaurav as the core member, it soon transformed into a 5-piece band with flautist Shashank Singhania, vocalist Shruti Dhasmana, keyboardist Archit Anand and drummer Suyash Gabriel. This metamorphosis is clearly visible in the sound of the EP as well. From sweet pop, to sinister rock, with dashes of Indian classical, to call the EP just ‘rock’ or ‘electronica’ would be a misnomer. In fact, what listening to the EP really feels like is looking through a Kaleidoscope, the various individuals colors creating eclectic patterns that change with every twist.
When asked about the EP, Gaurav explains, “The main theme behind the EP is rising above the chaos around us and finding the peace within. The songs are based on various issues that
have moved me over the years. ‘The Commons’ is about the
plight of the less privileged people in our society and no matter
which political party comes to power, they remain exactly the same.
‘Tilikum’ is about a killer whale that was kept captive at Seaworld,
Florida and ended up killing its only ‘friend’ (trainer Dawn
Brancheau) due to psychosis. ‘Bonzo’ is about a dog that was
subjected to physical abuse by the gardeners at a public park for
‘spoiling their plants’. The last song, ‘Unstoppable’ is the most sugar,
pop song we’ve ever written and that’s got the message of happiness within ourselves despite the chaos that exists around us.”
The Commons has been released via CD Baby, the largest online distributor of independent music in the world.