The contemporary music scene of the country has witnessed its fair share of pop records being produced consistently, to the extent where it can be safely assumed that indie-pop releases dominate over other genres when it comes to the sheer abundance in numbers. As a result, it is not very often that we see fresh faces bring something unique to the table in the current independent pop scape. Usually, it is the same set of sounds being recycled over and over again without regard to any sort of individualism or elan. Newly established Delhi-based outfit Green Park has tried its best to break out of this tedious drone of overused sounds in its debut EP All My Pictures Have Grown Smiles but has ended up tumbling down the same rabbit hole.
The pilot track “Disco” starts with a plain two-chord progression on the guitar that does not really weigh in when it comes to displaying musicality. The melody repeating itself again makes it sound all the more mundane, not standing out at all in an equally predictable soundscape. The song’s instrumental section could’ve done with some vocals given the instruments are not enough by themselves to replace them. There are vocals again at the end of the track, but its overtly enthusiastic and adrenalized delivery stuck out like a sore thumb in an otherwise fluid track.
“Tereza, My Dear” leans more into the EP’s shoegaze colours outshining the rest of the numbers in the EP. The slow, dreamy pace of the track laced with fuzzy guitar lines brings to mind the sepia-tinted grainy montages of bygone days. Strong with nostalgia, the track is almost lullaby-esque crooning about the latent desire to run away with a lover. A sound that bands like Cigarettes After Sex and Beach House helped popularize, was used by Green Park who cleaned it up by going easy on the reverb and introducing more upbeat textures in the form of pristine bass lines – the result of which they have called their own in this EP.
“Melodrama” is a heartbreak ditty that is as “melodramatic” as it claims to be but that is all there is to it. Besides the apparent lushness of the track, the transition between the supple textures to the jaunty section sounds a little isolated. The guitar solo is timid and not so assertive as compared to the resonant bass lines that provide more depth to the track. The band has incorporated the EP’s title into “Melodrama’s” lyrics brandishing their adroit songwriting: “I felt like a phoenix that died/ But all my pictures have grown smiles”.
“Books and Stores” goes easy on the ears as it commences but the breathy emphasis on the “who-s” and the “how-s” really stick out awkwardly tampering with the excitement that the track builds up till then. Eventually managing to stabilize itself with an ecstatic build-up that resolves with dulcet vocals brings the song to a mellow end. “Jiji”, the curtain drawer uses samples of feline sounds for its prelude, but the laidback instrumental track somehow didn’t make up for the perfect piece to complete the EP’s jigsaw puzzle. The meaning behind incorporating a 2-minute instrumental track to close an otherwise vocal-oriented record did not make much sense. Was it to highlight the fact that the record is instrumentally dominant, given the tendency of its other songs to use extended instrumental passages? Or was it simply a light-hearted track that was made to be a cinematic denouement to the EP’s almost poetry-like narrative? The track ends with a train-station announcement declaring that the listeners have finally reached “station Green Park” which was the only amusing addition to its soundscape.
Although Green Park’s debut EP offers only a few talking points regarding its compositional aspects, it does show some redeeming qualities which if taken into account and emphasized more, could bring heaps of improvement to their overall quality of sound. Their poetry-like, expressive songwriting, use of placid, dream-pop elements, and strong bass phrasings save the EP from completely drowning into the ocean of over-produced pop records. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a further polished sound.