Popular rock band Whale in the Pond on their latest album, The Night's End
Whale in the Pond stepped into the indie music scene with a jewel of an EP, Marbles, which they recorded guerrilla-style, at a band member’s house. Critically acclaimed and equally loved by listeners, it propelled them to the NH7 Weekender festival, held in Shillong, last year. Now, they’re working on their second release, an album tentatively titled, The Night’s End. Even though their music is termed dream folk, with floating melodies and lazy rhythms, the content is quite morbid for listeners who delve deep. That brand of pessimism is being further inflamed this time round. “We’re destroying the world with what we’re doing to the climate. This album ends with an apocalyptic scenario. I write songs that have morbid matter, but you wouldn’t know it by the music. That juxtaposition is absurd,” offers Sourjyo Sinha, the band’s songwriter.
“Glaciers melting aren’t very dramatic... hence, nuclear holocaust.” The themes explored are antigovernment sentiments, warmongering nations and hopelessness at facing the inevitable end. The six songs in the album have an over-arching common concept. “The first two are protest songs, the next two are on disillusionment with what’s going on in the world, while the last two happen in real-time with the context set by the previous songs. Songs are written in different voices representing the oppressed, oppressor and party, none of which are me,” offers Sourjyo.
This probably could be the only album in the world that has songs in Sylheti and English, with two songs in the former language. Besides Sourjyo, the band consists of Shireen Ghosh and Deep Phoenix. They added Sagnik Samaddar to the roster, and that has allowed them more space to play even more instruments. “Primarily, the biggest change is that we haven’t used the piano before. We also started using the mandolin when he joined,” says Shireen.
Among the instruments played, this album will include the guitar, piano, mandolin, melodica and flute, while more stuff including the glockenspiel will be added, post-production. Shireen says that while Marbles had a dreamy, fantastical sound, this album is stylistically more realistic. “Realism comes from the instrument. I’m building the universe of the album with the sound. I like to go by using the software as an instrument. It’s a very careful and intense process. It’s part of the song,” she says.
As for recording, they have graduated to building soundproof booths with mattresses and blankets propped up on notation stands. “It’s still DIY, just slightly more sophisticated,” adds Shireen. Through their album which will be released soon, Whale in the Pond wants to tell the world to sort out threatening problems, as they won’t get any better if things remain the same. An album that ends on an apocalyptic note might perhaps be just the thing that we need to wake up to how we’re scripting the end of the world.