Shubhangi Joshi Collective talks about their debut album Babelfish, sci-fi inspirations and multi-city tour
Shubhangi Joshi, the lead vocalist of Shubhangi Joshi Collective, is a self-confessed science fiction fan. Her band’s debut album Babelfish’s name is also inspired by sci-fi author Douglas Adams’ cult series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Named after a character who is an instant translator in the book, Shubhangi admits that it is the idea of translating feelings into words that resonated with her. “The character, Babelfish, is a bright yellow fish, which can translate anything into your first language. Music is our Babelfish. It gives shape to our thoughts about the world and everything we feel,” says the speculative literature fan.
The eight-track album, released last week, transitions from one subject and situation to the other with each song. The opening track is the dreamy Last Ticket Journey, which sets an inspiring tone with a focus on the idea of moving on from something that’s holding you back. Written by Shubhangi, the lyrics are straight from the heart, albeit with a hint of sarcasm. For instance, in Why Stay Away (fifth song in the album), the Mumbai-based artiste uses reverse psychology to talk about consumerism paired with an acoustic pop sound. The Curious Cat, on the other hand, is a fun and peppy song — an ode to a deep and long friendship. “This song is quite personal and is about forging a deep friendship with someone as they decide to move out or travel across the world. It’s about a free-spirited friend,” shares Shubhangi. The album also includes her 2017 single Foolish, pop-flavoured Cynic On The List and soothing and personal final track, Ode To The Moon.
While a few songs on the album were written when Shubhangi was a solo artiste, the others, she says, were composed when the band got together to work on this release, a year ago. Along with Shubhangi (vocals and guitar), the three-year-old band comprises Aamir Ismail (drums and percussion), Nishant Nair (keys and melodica) and Titus Pinto (bass). Since her debut EP Talking Away The Night, released in 2014, she has moved on to explore more genres including jazz, soul and pop, especially with Babelfish. The band members, however, identify themselves as an indie-pop outfit. Post the big launch, they’re now set to do a multi-city tour covering Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and their home base, Mumbai.
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August 23, Kolkata - Topcat CCU
August 24, Guwahati - Cafe Hendrix
September 6, Delhi - The Pianoman Jazz Club, Safdarjung
September 7, Gurugram - The Pianoman Jazz Club
September 8, Delhi - PVR Home
September 15, Bengaluru - Fandom at Gilly's Redefined
September 19, Mumbai - Hard Rock Cafe, Andheri