Shantanu Pandit on his debut full-length album, Milk Teeth
The record, which captures moods of melancholy and wonder, has been released by independent label Pagal Haina
D ELHI - B A S E D SHANTANU Pandit’s music has often been compared to that of Bob Dylan. Shantanu’s 2014 EP, Skunk In The Cellar, has the same calm warmth of the Nobel Prize-winner’s folk music. “I don't know how much of an influence he still is for me, but I'm sure there's still some traces. I will always keep going back to Dylan, he's like 10 different people anyway, never gets old,” Shantanu tells us. But with his latest release, a full- length debut album, Milk Teeth, the artiste comes into his own and establishes a musical identity. The record, which captures moods of melancholy and wonder, has been released by independent label Pagal Haina.
With the 10-track album, Shantanu harks back to his childhood and to simpler times. “A lot of the songs are either about experiences I had as a child or from the perspective of a child. Most of the record is an attempt at capturing that spirit and way of looking at the world. I found inspiration in trying to see things through that lens,” the musician says. Songs such as Permanent Food and As I Grow echo this.
The other songs touch upon themes such as betrayal, coming of age, mortality and permanence.
A stand out song is Halley’s Comet. The grandeur of space and the wonder it evokes comes through in the track. Another song that caught our attention is the latest single that was released from the album, titled Aliza Don’t Count On Me. Lyrically the track is similar to Dylan’s classic, It Ain’t Me Babe. ‘Because I’m not the man/The man that you want me to be’ the lyrics go. Shantanu also admits that the songs stem from
his own personal experiences.
Shantanu’s vocals in the album are remarkable. “My vocal style has changed a lot over the years,” he explains, adding, “I’ve also morphed my voice a bit on this record, to make myself sound like how I used to sound as a kid.” But not just his voice, the artiste’s musical style has also evolved. “I’ve gotten better at production since then so I guess the sound has more flavours in it now,” he offers. Milk Teeth features a range of musical instruments that add to the texture of the songs. Fellow artiste Rohit Gupta plays the trumpet, clarinet and pan flute, and Dhruv Bhola plays the bass, guitar and piano.
While the album was written over the past four years, the quiet and soft melodies lend themselves well to the reflective and contemplative feel of our times.