On its first hearing, we would probably wonder what Banat’s ‘Flish’ is all about? But on a more nuanced listen, we would understand that this EP revolves around many themes and concepts, ranging from odes, fantasies, romance and surrealism. One would also find themselves immersed in a wholesome musical experience after listening to this EP. Banat Kaur Bagga is a Mumbai based singer-songwriter, whose debut EP ‘Flish’ has been gaining quite some traction amongst the indie music circles. She started her music journey from a tender age of five years, starting from learning the harmonium and semi-classical music and in her later years entering the world of rock music, guitar and the piano. This EP is produced by Vishal J. Singh, and Yash Arora and Siddhi Singh have played the bass and drums respectively for some of the tracks.
Banat’s vocals are soothing, mesmerizing and almost have a trance like nature. The entire EP is largely characterized by piano melodies along with Banat’s ethereal voice. It is an interesting blend of neo-classical music, spaced out tunes, vast vocal ranges, and long musical interludes. Being an avid animal lover, some of her tracks have also been dedicated to her furry friends. This EP is an intense listen, if one really wants to understand the true meaning behind the lyricism. Ideas of fantasy and surrealism are also omnipresent throughout the EP.
The first track, ‘Taabir’ starts off by a soft guitar riff on which the entire song rests. Taabir means the interpretation or meaning of a dream in Urdu language. Banat’s vocal range has to be given due credit, as she manages to pull off both the high and the low notes of the song really well. The song seems to be about self-confidence and the artists’ attempt to interpret a dream where she is truly free and feels alive.
The track ‘Ode’ is in literal sense an ‘ode’ to someone who is very close to the artist’s heart. The song is about love, loss, longing and acceptance that comes from having to part with a loved one. Long instrumental sections, vocalizations and spacey music gives this song almost a trance like vibe.
Banat adds, “The title of the track ‘Your Vancouver’ is inspired Jeff Buckley’s song Vancouver. I had a similar experience that he wrote about in his song so I decided to call it ‘Your Vancouver’. It is among my very few songs about relationships.” Again, long musical interludes and gripping vocals from Banat are noticeable in this track. ‘For The Child In You’ is a song dedicated to Banat’s oldest cat.
The final track ‘Flish’ is a fascinating story of a fish and a fly who both think that the ‘other side’ of the world would be better, but they are stuck in the same murky pond together. The track has elements of fantasy and surrealism, and explores the themes of jealousy and desire. The animated music video of ‘Flish’ gives us a glimpse into the fantasy world of fishes and flies. Lush production, piano melodies and Banat’s enchanting vocals makes us want to play this track on repeat.
Overall, this EP requires a careful listen, to understand and truly appreciate what Banat has to offer. But if you are looking for dreamy vocals, charming piano melodies, and some thought-provoking music, ‘Flish’ has to be your go-to EP.