It is often said that emotions are best conveyed through the sound of music. It unlocks a whole new dimension of expressing ourselves without being confined by vocabulary. Such was the thinking behind Pune-based post-rock outfit Lotus’s newest release, “Dear Diary”. In a venture to experiment and expand on this very idea, the band has crafted this 8-track album, poised as a series of diary entrie, each circling around a particular sense of feeling or emotion. Inspired by the tumultuous times brought about by the pandemic, the artists delved into the variety of ineffable thoughts and feelings that all of us developed and helped paint it on their own canvas.
In its formative years, Lotus emerged as a studio instrumental project that pushed the boundaries seeking to integrate the traditional sounds of multiple genres like rock, post rock and progressive rock, sprinkled with ethereal electronic sounds. Currently consisting of Robert Alex on bass, Collin Francis on vocals, Siddharth Amarnath on guitar and Abhishek Mujumdar on drums, the band has ventured onto the realm of complimenting their music with a similarly sublime layer of vocals that provides the tracks with the necessary evocative punch. According to the band, their latest album is packaged as a personal diary with each track being a separate entry similar to a journal. In the words of their guitarist Siddharth Amarnath,
“We wanted to pour everything we’re experiencing as individuals, as well as a unit into this album. Be it our individual experiences though life, adulthood, love, the feeling of loss of a loved one, emotional attachments (and detachments) with friends and family. ‘Dear Diary’ is us finding closure and understanding with these aspects of our lives.”.
The audience is introduced early to the fact that the band refuses to confine their musical product within a particular genre with an ever-changing soundscape as the album progresses, exploring and intertwining different aspects, tonality and instruments in order to setup the particular emotion that the artists want to address in each track. There is a scrumptious mixture of traditional instruments one finds in a post-rock band with a touch of ambient, lo-fi soundscapes. This mixture is evident right from the first track which essentially ushers the listeners with a dreamy atmosphere onto a journey that would unfold in the following songs. The following two tracks rely more on intricate chord progressions and champion a heavier tone that mimics a sense of unrest and an overwhelming flow of emotions. These tracks have a mild underlay of electronic grooves that the band uses to symbolically diffuse the heightened sense of tension that looms. This formula returns in other tracks further down the album, sporting a backdrop of heavy, distorted guitar chords complimented by a thumping drum beat for a majority of the track as the sound gradually changes to usher in a mellow electronic aura with the heavy sounds drifting off as if it was the sense of unease and pain being replaced by calm and acceptance. In a bid to depart from relying solely on the fundamental characteristics of a post-rock act, the band throws in a few experimental brews in the mix which introduces the audience to a heavier reliance on the electronic aspect of their sound, using a masterfully crafted flow of engaging and evocative electronic grooves and beats which are given an additional oomph with a beauteous vocal and lyrical overlay. The album consists of an adroit combination of traditional guitar chords and drum sounds, consistent with the general feel of a post-rock band with a vastly customized and skillfully produced electronic backdrop which feels like a personal statement from the artists regarding the kind of emotions that they dealt with and want to share with their audience.
“Dear Diary” is a mind-blowing mix of cascading electronic textures meddled with a tasty concoction of guitar and drum elements that form an exquisite product that penetrates the traditional and popular boundaries of genres, reeling the audience in with their masterful method of dealing with emotions that all of us have difficulties dealing with as the band lays bare their own feelings of grief, love, acceptance and reminiscence.