Aswekeepsearching’s latest album, Sleep, promises to soothe anxiety and is perfect for the lockdown period
Last year, musician Uddipan Sarmah was going through bouts of anxiety and sleeplessness. “I was constantly looking for playlists to help me sleep. In this process, I realised that those songs had the same textures that were in my band, Aswekeepsearching’s music. When I asked the band if we can make some songs along those lines, they agreed,” he tells us. Few songs later, this morphed into a full album called Sleep. Even though the album was planned much before the lockdown, it releases today. “We are glad to be able to release it now as we believe it is the right time to play it,” he adds.
The Pune-based band was formed in 2015 and consists of Uddipan Sarmah, Shubham Gurung, Robert Alex and Sambit Chatterjee. Mid-2019, the band had released its third album, Rooh, so another album so soon has fans quite surprised. “Post the Rooh launch tour, we were in the zone for exploring more ambient and soundscape-y realms of music. We thought about serving this new album as an extension to Rooh but with a different purpose — the purpose of mental healing,” Shubham tells us.
The eight-track album has soothing, soft music that is supposed to mimic music therapy. “We didn’t do any research on music therapy specifically, but we tried to explore and compose music that helped us feel calm during distressing situations. We’re sure that Sleep will resonate and serve as therapy to people who are feeling mentally troubled, as it did for us,” Shubham adds.
The approach to the songs in this album are different from how the band generally approaches writing music. The sound has been stripped down to just the bare emotions. “None of us have approached the music as a guitarist or bassist or drummer or singer. We would, at every stage for each song, ask each other, ‘What does the song really need? And that’s how we approached it. There is only one song that has bass, only one song that has vocals, most of the songs are primarily synth driven. All of this is because we feel that’s all that’s needed to bring out the simplest emotion. And we’re extremely happy with how the songs turned out,” Robert adds.
The songs such as How Am I Supposed To Know, Let Us Try and Sleep Again are accompanied by music videos boasting a mellow and muted palette. “For the videos, I got this idea of collaborating with independent filmmakers,” Uddipan says, adding, “We posted on social media calling for entries. Immediately after this, we started working on the videos. The idea was never to make music videos, but minimalistic abstract ones to showcase the collaboration in the best possible way.”
While for some time, a tour is out of the question due to the lockdown, the band has some online projects lined up. “Yes, sadly tours are off...they’re something that we live for. But we’ll be interacting more with our fans, AWKSGazers, and we maybe doing some music workshops,” Sambit sums up.
Sleep is available on online streaming platforms