The rise of alternative music in India has given space to artists hailing from all genres of music. With the advent of home production technology, in both the musical and the visual sense, it has given artists greater control over their creative outputs. New Delhi based experimental band Hitherto’s self-titled EP, combines the best of these two worlds to give us an instrumental body of music that pierces through the mind.
Initially a band and now fronted by musician Arsh Goswami and visual artist Shrey Kathuria, Hitherto is a collaborative alias that can be seen experimenting with ambient, shoegaze and post-metal genres. Written, produced and engineered by Arsh Goswami, Hitherto’s latest release is an audiovisual self-titled EP that exhibits their new perspectives in terms of songwriting – along with an experimental visual arrangement imagined and designed by Shrey Kathuria. This EP is in a line of releases since 2015 but is the first for Hitherto comprising only of Arsh and Shrey.
The new release exhibits a narrative of a cosmonaut’s journey and is spread across a 5-track arrangement. Featuring voice samples from the John F. Kennedy speech, visual bits inspired from Apollo 13 and tragic circumstances in the space, one can experience an undulated and emotionally-driven storytelling throughout the EP. “Our new EP explores a new facet that not only
interacts through music, but also build an atmosphere for the listener. ‘Hitherto.’ features songwriting by Arsh that explores his newer perspectives, along with a visual sequence that has been imagined and produced by Shrey. The fundamental idea of this EP is to deliver expansive narrative through audiovisual methods. We are really looking forward to take this series live where we would love to incorporate interactivity to give a more physical form to the overall experience.” says the band when talking about their creative process.
With Arsh being completely in-charge of the songwriting process and Shrey spearheading the visuals front, Hitherto’s release steers away from a traditional music setup. While it decreases the collaborative process that bands are known for, it gives more space to individuals who have a clear creative direction to walk towards. “The songwriting process led by Arsh happened through a span of a couple of months which includes writing and recording of music. We had to slow things down in between when we were hit by the pandemic – that is when Shrey utilised the most of downtime and created the visual sequence.” says the band. With visuals in the mix, it’ll be interesting to see how the EP is translated into the live setup and the duo aims to do that as soon as regular gigs take-off again in the city.