The line-up: Andy (vocals/guitars), 27, Rishi (guitars, keyboards and vocals), 24, Sourav (drums), 23, Souvik (bass), 23
Formed in: 2011
Genre: Post-punk (of the 1970s)
Spin factor: Odds And Favours (EP)
Inspiration: Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Franz Ferdinand
aim to fame: The band was featured on Stupiditties 666 (2012) and is also a part of Disenfranchised In India, the first Indian punk compilation.
Band speak: “Our songs are streaming on a number of radio channels and are available on reverbnation.com and soundcloud.com for free streaming,” says Andy.
Backstory: Andy writes “sharp lyrics” revolving around human behaviour and urban psychology, using elements of humour. Like the song She Digs A Whipper Snapper, which is about a fictional high-profile escort called Betty. She preys on young millionaires and successful men every night for money. She also dreams of falling in love.
Work in progress: “We have a set of 15-16 songs right now,” says Rishi.
Road ahead: Plans to release another EP, music videos and start on their debut album.
Being indie in Cal: “We do not have enough venues to support the indie scene. But there are a few extremely talented bands in Calcutta that have the capability to go global,” says Andy.
Genre: Contemporary pop
Spin factor: Nischay, also a member of the indie band Monkey In Me, is set to release his solo debut album Ocean in September.
Inspiration: Wes Montgomery, Bill Frisell, George Harrison, Leslie Feist and Marvin Gaye
aim to fame: Performed at A Summer’s Day fest in Mumbai this year, where Norah Jones was the headliner.
Artiste speak: “I write songs about two things almost exclusively –– relationships and animals. So there are love songs on the album and there are songs with elements of mysticism.”
Backstory: “I like the paradox between animals, inanimate objects and very ‘human’ emotions. I like creating worlds and characters through which my songs can have a life of their own,” he adds.
Work in progress: “The debut album is basically a collection of dreams I’ve had in the last few years of my life. It’s a dream journal of sorts.”
Road ahead: Ocean will be available for digital purchase on iTunes and other online stores. There will be downloads available on Bandcamp –– this will be a ‘pay what you want’ model with no upper limit.
Being indie in Cal: “I just wish there were more venues and better economics. The advantage is that everyone is very close. There’s lots of warmth and familiarity.”
The line-up: Pablo (bassist), 20, Ishan Lal (drums), 20, Satyajit Chatterji (guitar/vocals), 18
Formed in: 2012
Genre: Blues, rock, jazz and soul
Spin factor: The Hat Song (single)
Inspiration: Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Black Keys, John Mayer and John Lee Hooker
aim to fame: The video of The Hat Song (released on March 31)
Band speak: “Though we are not a traditional blues band, most of our songs are rooted in blues. Though the blues police might arrest us some day, what we play sounds like a mix of everything,” says Satyajit.
Backstory: “My grandmom, who’s an Indian classical purist, heard us practising one of our
ouder blues rock songs, came out of her room and said, ‘You guys sound really good.’ When someone her age says that instead of telling you to turn the
volume down, you know you’re doing something right!” laughs Satyajit.
Work in progress: The band would like to do more shows out of town.
Road ahead: Plans to record an album.
Being indie in Cal: “It’s great to be a new band in Calcutta because the quality of music in the city is astonishing,” says Satyajit.
Ifs and buts
The line-up: Subhodip Banerjee (guitars/vocals), 23, Nicholas Rixon (vocals/guitars/percussion), 24
Formed in: 2011
Spin factor: Ifs And Buts (EP)
Inspiration: Death Cab for Cutie, Neutral Milk Hotel, Iron And Wine
aim to fame: The song Stuck is the only track from an Asian act to make it to the UK-based Red Dragon Record’s indie compilation album, Renaissance (2013).
Duo speak: “Red Dragon Records was looking for indie acts from around the world that were making original music. We decided to give it a shot and sent the song Stuck (off the EP) for consideration. It got long-listed and eventually made the final list,” says Nicholas.
Backstory: Stuck was written by Nicholas while trying to juggle a 9-to-5 job and music. It’s a simple song about somebody who realises that it’s quite challenging to handle both.
Work in progress: New songs like Tourist deals with a haunting incident. Rat-a-tat is a song about love and care in the form of a backpacking trip. Letters is about how the joy of letter-writing has faded away.
Road ahead: Debut album You’re A Story is in the pipeline.
Being indie in Cal: “Event planners are coming up with a few great ideas for artistes here. However, sponsors are an issue. The city could really do with a few indie music festivals, something along the lines of M.A.D or Escape Festival,” adds Nicholas.
Who else should be on this Calcutta indie band list? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org