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Chennai Artist Sunflower Tape Machine Is Delightfully Rootsy On New Single 'Rosemary'

Aug 01, 04:00pm

It’s infinitely rewarding when a musician respects their chosen form of expression
 Photo Courtesy: Shantanu Krishnan

It’s quite probable that you know about a person named Aryaman Singh out of Chennai by now. Under the remarkably fun moniker Sunflower Tape Machine, he’s been putting out quality stuff for a couple years now (albeit sporadically). He has only a few singles under his belt, but that has been enough to get him playlisted (that word is slowly becoming rather annoying, truth be told) and relatively well known to the general indie audience. This comes primarily from the amount of care he puts into simple compositions. Believe it or not, treating even the more skeletal sonic ideas with love does result in a good product (who woulda thunk, right?); his latest song ‘Rosemary’ distills this approach down to its essence.

If that sounds a bit overblown (and it might), what this essentially means to the listener is that Aryaman attempts to write a song where the story is told completely through what he is saying; staying away from doing more than the bare minimum instrumentally. And that’s not an understatement. There’s an acoustic guitar and his voice on the tune, and that’s about it. Said acoustic guitar is mixed and played in a raw fashion, and the vocals are relatively to-the-point. So, ‘Rosemary’ is more in the indie vein of Phil Elverum than Arcade Fire, which begs the obvious question: What does he have to say? Well, it’s a story of love and longing, but it’s nicely told. There’s a genuinely poetic bent to lines like Rosemary's going to sleep / And she's not in my bed /And I wish that she could be /In my arms right next to me /Out of my head and this is exactly what makes Sunflower Tape Machine believable. He understands the value of words when all fades away, and he even makes it easy for us to hear his story (a tale told a zillion times every year, of course) by stripping everything extraneous away. So, it’s almost like you have choice but to believe him. That’s honesty, and that’s indie for ya.

 

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