The name Fried Pajamas definitely catches one’s attention but more so, it paints a vivid picture in mind. Supplementing this quirky image along with the name is, Manipal-based indie soft pop duo’s debut EP Ginger Memories. What started as a normal conversation with random food names ended with the term Fried Pajamas which the former engineering students decided to use as their artist name. Manya Singh and Saksham Gupta had divided their work as a music duo where Gupta was in charge of the lyrics and songwriting and Singh is the mastermind behind the music and on vocals.
Sonically, this EP is setting the mood with its mellow, soft acoustic pop tracks, but the latter half of Ginger Memories also sees a pleasant experimental shift. The pandemic resulted in the formation of many new musicians and this duo also used this time at home to write this EP. It starts by talking about feelings of separation, sadness, missing out, and wanting to do better which later transcends into the phase of embracing the way, dealing with it and enjoying whatever we have. Whereas, towards the end, the EP talks about feelings of taking control of our life and realising our priorities. These phases are something that most of us, or at least I have experienced during this pandemic which makes Gupta’s songwriting quite relatable. However, the main theme of the EP is love where the former part of the EP is more based on the theme of relationships and love.
The duo starts the EP with a track Guns N’ Roses which assures you a sense of melancholy with its acoustic guitars, mellow vocals and composition. This song gives a stark contrast to the American hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, despite the same name. The second song For You and the third song Road Back To You also follow a similar mellow, singer-songwriter vibe with a melodic tune and simple acoustic composition.
Road Back To You was composed and written in a total of just 50 hours for the 50-hour music challenge by the India Film Project. Wake Up is the fourth song in the EP and also the turning point where the music escalates towards a more experimental, upbeat side. This acapella track shows Singh’s prowess as a vocalist as the song gets peppier than the earlier ones. Low, the fifth track has smoother vocals and the production is more than the acoustic tracks with backing percussions and layered vocals. The final track No Lies features artist Deepan Mukherjee. “He was a junior in college and I thought it would be good to collaborate. He does pure rock, classic music so I thoughts let’s have him experiment in this as well,” says Singh as she explains about the only featured song in this six-track EP. No Lies also delves into an R&B vibe with laid back, mature vocals and also a short, pleasant guitar solo as its outro which distinguishes this track from the rest of the EP. While the entire EP follows a similar vibe, especially the first three songs, the abrupt end of each song makes it easy and noticeable when the next song starts.
The meaning behind the name of the EP – Ginger Memories according to Singh is, “A lot of people don’t like ginger but at the same time a lot of people really like ginger and that honestly reflects how it’s been working so far. The album was a very exciting piece at the start for me but towards the end of it, I wanted to get it over with quickly. The feelings revolving around it kept on changing, hence ginger.”
According to Singh, people who know her would recognise the scooter in the artwork because it has fond memories attached to it. Why wouldn’t it, though? After all, the EP is Ginger Memories. “The scooters that you see are my scooter and my friend’s scooter and everyone who knew me in college hitched a ride. It was a rental scooter but lots of good memories were made on it and I thought it was a nice thing to use,” says Singh.
There have been lots of acoustic, feel-good and melacholic tracks in the indie circuit but yet I enjoyed listening to the EP as a whole, and as individual songs too. However, this EP will be the only music that will be out as Fried Pajamas. Manya Singh will be working solo from here and making her own music whereas Saksham Gupta, the other half of the duo will continue in the field of writing. “It’ll (Singh’s music) be more to do with instrumental for now because I don’t have a lyricist. However, the style of music might be the same for me as a solo artist but my goal is to experiment, keeping doing newer things and collaborate with different artists so it could change,” says Singh.