Bangalore’s (still) acoustic duo Anup and Kenneth love playing the blues. However, their debut album Balance transcends genres and emotions; and does it without trying too hard. The album is unpretentious and maybe that lets you connect more to the soul or essence of the album. Moreover, the duo works really well as a team. Kenneth’s voice merges effortlessly with Anup’s guitar.
The songs talk about a plethora of things – from the uncertainty of career prospects (‘Die Trying’) to unfaithfulness (‘Rain’). The interesting bit of the album is the way it sounds; it has a very raw feel to it. Anup and Kenneth have purposefully kept the album simple. How, you ask?
Anup + Kenneth+ Anup’s guitar + Kenneth’s guitar + a lot of emotion + a burning hatred for auto-tuned music= Balance.
It almost feels as if you are listening to them perform live – they do manage to achieve that old-school, folky sound without letting go of the catchy riffs and the shit-that’s-so-awesome solos. The simplicity of the songs doesn’t mean that they aren’t well composed. The guitar and the vocals are almost inseparable – that’s how tight the compositions are.
These are my favourite songs from the six-song album.
According to me, this is Anup and Kenneth’s most mature composition out of the album. It was written a week before the album was recorded. It ain’t loud, there’s no shouting. It’s simple and the lyrics that talk about addiction, loneliness and those times when you feel utterly hopeless. However, the song still doesn’t have an unhappy feel to it at all. Anup is at his best with the guitar in this one. End result? A brilliant song.
The deep vocals coupled with Anup’s guitar riffs and that awesome lead will surely make you listen to this more than once. It has a very feel-good vibe to it. The lyrics are simple (‘Think I was born this way?’) but leave a deep impact. What is remarkable is that it actually manages to create the whole feel it deserves. I would definitely want to listen to this one on a rainy day.
I guess this one’s written in a way that would make ladies everywhere go gaga. Maybe it was meant to be that way. Even then, the chorus is sufficient to blow anyone’s mind away. Kenneth’s vocals are brilliant in this one. I love the way this ends and all in all, this one does complete justice to its name.
In spite of how awesome this album is, a lot of people might be put off by ‘Muskaan’ which I would call their experimental track. Kenneth’s “Hindi accent” in this song might make people want to go to the next song. However, this is something that gradually grows onto you I guess. This isn’t a ‘Johnny’, another song from their album, which I presume will be their most popular one.
One major issue that I have with this album is that it ends too soon! I wish they had recorded a few more songs. Sigh!
A video from their practice sessions.
Overall, I feel that the album has a very live-recording-feel to it – single take vocals, no pitch correction. This makes it very realistic and lively. Anup weaves magic with his guitar – I do not possess the technical knowledge of the guitar to comment on it but from a music lover’s perspective – it’s bloody mind-blowing. Kenneth has a brilliant voice and coupled with those well-written lyrics he sounds even better. I hear that Anup and Kenneth plan to become a full-fledged electric band with a drummer et al. However I am in love with the acoustic feel of this simple yet intense album. An admirable debut, I must say.
Their album releases on the 1st of October and we are giving away two songs from their album for FREE! Visit http://dfuse.in/balance.