With A Distant Meadow, singer and producer Sanoli Chowdhury makes her mark in the indie space
WHEN WE LAST spoke to singer Sanoli Chowdhury about her 2020 EP It’s All A Monotonous Game, she said her work was about love, loss and relationships. But her latest offering, A Distant Meadow, shows a more accepting side of her. “A Distant Meadow is about being lost, but without losing a sense of self. While there is an understanding of past relationships and experiences, it’s now about being present in the moment with oneself,” the Bengaluru-based artiste tells us. The five-track EP is emotively rich and highlights Sanoli’s vocal qualities.
In the record, the artiste has focused on a more synth-heavy sound as opposed to her usual guitar-driven approach. “The sonic route I am trying to experiment with leans towards an ambient soundscape,” she tells us, adding, “The entire EP makes me feel like I am in the middle of an open meadow or a field. The word ‘distant’ in the title provides an idea of isolation and emptiness, but not in a negative sense. The entire EP tries to narrate a very tranquil experience with oneself.
The tracks Mediocre Movements, Halfway Home and Sculpted Failures feature soft melodies complemented with texturally strong vocals. One can hear influences of singer Beth Gibbons and the band Portishead in the EP. The project also has collaborations with guitarist Leslie Charles and drummer Prabhu Muraleedharan. And along with that, Gautam David, city-based saxophonist, lends his tunes to the songs too. “This was a new venture for me,” she says about the experience. “I had a great time recording a new instrument. It added an interesting element to the entire EP. It gives the music an earthy, dreamy and honest feel. Gautam understood the music well, which helped with the process,” Sanoli adds.
A Distant Meadow also has a cover of the song Love Will Tear Us Apart by British rock band Joy Division. While the original song is loved for its post-punk and almost grunge vibe, Sanoli’s version is a stripped down raw, yet delicate take on it. “I tried to keep the iconic bass line for my first attempt, but it didn’t feel or sound like me. So I just tried to understand it from my perspective and did whatever felt right and came to me. It was a fun experience, a bit objectively driven as well,” she tells us. Up next, Sanoli is working on a longer full-length album. “I’m still at that early stage of development and figuring out my music. So I’m going to focus on that,” she sums up.
Available on online streaming albums