Drawing lyrical inspiration from Malayalam poems
This band merges folk, rock and reggae soundscapes
From behemoths like Avial to new-age ensembles like Pathayam, it’s apparent that folk music has played a pivotal role in contouring Kerala’s musical palette. This roots revival movement eventually led to the formation of numerous folk-influenced contemporary acts including Vidwan,Oorali, Masala Coffee, Thakara and Vethaalam. But, the scene is currently experiencing a self-imposed stalemate. Attempting to change this, childhood friends and self-taught musicians Anoop P N, Jain K J, Nithin K joined hands with Akshay K A, to form Arounds. “After performing at gigs across Thrissur, Kozhikode, Varkala and Mattancherry’s BC Art Gallery, we’ve just wrapped up shooting two music videos for our original compositions (titled Poombatta and Vazhakkula) and are preparing for a launch party at 3:1 Studio
(tentatively on April 29),” explains 26-year-old Anoop.
Tonally speaking, this multi-genre, multi-lingual act seems to craft foot-tapping tunes. But listen closely to Arounds’ lyrics and one notices that they tackle socio-political subjects like feudalism in the reggae-tinged Vazhakkula (inspired by famed poet Changampuzha Krishna Pillai’s homonymous work). Their animated music video, Poombatta, is influenced by a lower primary school textbook poem called Njan. So, what’s next for this four-piece acoustic band, besides recording a full-length album? “We’ve met many souls on this journey, gained inside knowledge of the music industry and engaged in copious amounts of self-introspection. All four of us hope to float ‘around’ the world as gypsies, perfecting our sound, and earning a sustenance through our art,” says bassist Nithin, signing off.