Whale In The Pond’s debut EP ‘Marbles’ is a five-track daydream in a bottle meant to be sipped, not downed. With sounds that haven’t even remotely slipped into the mainstream for more than a decade now, they’ve weaved something that’s reminiscent of the good times, and yet entirely new. The album cover might not look particularly appealing at first when compared to the digitalized and minimalist art that grace the covers of all the chart-topping albums, but the moment you hit play, you’ll find yourself smiling at how wrong you were. ‘Marbles’ is, in fact, a perfectly-packaged product, giving you exactly what it promises, if only you’d stop and look.
Click to stream/buy their album from OK Listen. Our favorite: Araby.
Album art by Reya Ahmed, picture courtesy of Whale In The Pond
The band is a three piece from Kolkata: Sourjyo Sinha (primary songwriter, singer, musician), Shireen Ghosh (multi-instrumentalist, mixer, producer) and Deep Phoenix (guitars and percussion). Sourjyo and Shireen composed music for two college productions before performing at Kokata’s first Sofar Sounds gig, where they met Deep. Just months later, Whale In The Pond was born, named after the whimsical tales of a whale residing in the pond next to Sourjyo’s house when he was growing up. “I had this fascination of seeing the whale surface at least once, but that obviously never happened,” Sourjyo says. “What stuck with me was that image: such a majestic, almost fantastical creature all alone in a tiny pond. The melancholic yet dreamy vibe I get from that image also fuels some of the music I make.”
Picture courtesy of Whale In The Pond
Whale In The Pond could be the poster kids for the indie dream – do first, plan later. Instead of wasting months (in some cases, years) over scrutinizing and perfecting every single detail on an album, these three decided to go ahead and record the EP on their own at home. They borrowed basic recording equipment and laptops from their friends to record the EP, and Shireen arranged and mixed the tracks on her own. Although it looks cozy, Deep says, “There was nothing interesting about a blanket for several takes. Or having to redo everything multiple times because (of the) doorbell/carhorn/screaming neighbor/Cthulhu calling.”
If you find the lyrics as compelling as the music, it’s because Sourjyo makes a conscious effort to write songs that have some depth to them, instead of fitting into the regular box of love songs. For example, The Call is a happy, jumpy song about the end of the world (i.e. the rise of Cthulhu). Irony and humor play a big part in his songwriting process. It’s no wonder that The Call is Deep’s favorite song off the EP. For Sourjyo and Shireen, it’s Autumn Winds, a song written about evenings spent on a rooftop while the wind’s pleasant and the sky, breathtaking.
When asked to describe their music, Sourjyo says, “We really don’t know exactly how we can label ourselves. The idea is not to limit ourselves to a particular genre. Even on this five-song EP, we go from nice, mellow indie folk to something a bit more eastern flavored to a sea shanty to a punk song and finally something I call a dream folk song. Dreamfolk seems apt, I guess, seeing as the music and lyrics always try to create a dreamscape in the minds of the listener. All three of us have vastly different tastes in music, so that probably makes things more confusing.”
The band is focusing on promoting the EP right now, with gigs in and around Kolkata, but there might be a music video coming in the next two months. They’re also going to record a new song in Sourjyo’s native dialect of Sylheti that’s been getting a lot of praise whenever they play it live. He describes it as a dance-y folk song with sinister undertones (like a grown-up version of The Call).