Rishabh Iyer on the inspiration behind his new project, Khus Fir and its debut EP, On Talons
BENGALURU-BASED MUSICIAN Rishabh Iyer is known in the circuit for his folk-electronic music projects Worms’ Cottage and Chir Pine. But, taking a slightly different direction with his art, now the artiste launches the EP, On Talons, under a new moniker — Khus Fir. Released a few weeks ago, the six-track album is marked by a shift into a softer and more evolved sound.
“Worms’ Cottage was started as a kind of side project. I enjoyed experimenting with electronic music, but when I look back, my work sounds half-baked and rushed. And it was, in a sense. Because I was so enthralled by the genre, I felt like churning out something every day. But now, three years later, I want to make music more patiently and with care. So I decided to start from scratch with Khus Fir,” he tells us. The name is an amalgamation of two pleasant childhood memories for Rishabh — khus, the fragrant grass that’s used in air coolers, and fir trees, which grow in the Himalayas.
Back to nature
As an EP, On Talons is strongly influenced by the natural world and its primal essence — right from song titles such as Barn Owl Eyes and Cat Claws, to the cover art of the EP, which depicts an owl and a big cat painted in the primitivism style of art. “While making the EP, I was thinking about predatory animals, and how they’re programmed to be a certain way, and possibly, so are we. On the cover, I drew the two animals I feel drawn to the most. I took a lot of feedback from my mom, who’s an illustrator, and some friends who are also artists,” he tells us.
Ranking among the many other interesting things that Rishabh takes inspiration from is also the works of award-winning architect BV Doshi. “On this EP, oddly enough, BV Doshi was a big inspiration. I was lucky to be working out of one of his buildings — IIMB. The building is very geometric and bare, and I wanted the EP to sound like that. The song Fading Memory was written there. And that’s the song that sparked the rest of the album,” he tells us.
On Talons has a soft house music vibe and four-on-the-floor rhythms, but with bright percussive elements and vocal samples. Rishabh’s signature style of folk-inspired electronica also seeps into the songs. “The songs Hollow and Spinning Compass were quite challenging to write, mostly because I don’t feel very confident about vocals and writing lyrics,” the artiste shares.
Rishabh has so far stayed away from online gigs, and doesn’t plan on doing many in the future too. But up next, he says he has a few more releases in the pipeline.
Available on online streaming platforms