• Sat, Apr 20, 2024

The New EP From The Andrea Tariang Band Is Pure Nostalgia


album Reviews Jan 29, 12:50pm

‘My Time’ is prime road trip material
 Photo Courtesy: Andrea Tariang, Artwork by Sanda Kharnaior, Edited by Ashish Saha

Almost everything that sounds like the new EP from Shillong’s Andrea Tariang is today labeled as hopelessly derivative and painfully generic. But it’s especially important in this day and age to have simple and honest music to remind us of a time when there were such things as simplicity and honesty. We have enough to think about and devote our attention to, and ‘My Time’ happily stays out of the way while making ears happy. But that’s just on the surface. Underneath all that is a nuanced and excellently performed set of tracks with great songwriting and attention to detail.



The EP has six tracks and is very clean in its production. In fact, the no-nonsense approach taken with reference to sound is a common theme through the release. There’s no crazy trickery or hiding behind layers of effects. You can hear everything just as it is. There’s clear, punchy drums and percussion. There’s a lot of acoustic guitar. There are some warbling keys that come in and out to add some spice. ‘Floating’ has a sudden and absolutely delightful injection of saxophone. ‘Take Me Away’ has synths galore. It is a great credit to this EP that from the first second to the last, the listener does not have to search for anything and knows exactly what they are getting.



The songs themselves are assured, if a tiny bit derivative. There’s 25 minutes of music on ‘My Time’, and for the most part, it stays very much in throwback territory, but with left turns and switch-ups on almost every track. ‘Floating’ is super jazzy and will remind the casual listener of something that cannot be described as anything else but faux-French. The aforementioned saxophone combines with some loosely strummed guitar and some pretty fantastic piano to give the track a feel that is somehow catchy and jazzy at the same time. The title track is pretty much the band doing their best James Brown and Jackson 5, complete with snatches of harmonies and a ripping bassline that will make you press replay a zillion times once you get a hold of it. The closer ‘Take Me Away’ has a thick bed of synths and some really groovy drums to support Andrea’s arresting vocal, but there’s something about the track that communicates a bit of confusion. The harmonies and background instrumentation are awesome enough to merit interest, let alone replay value. There’s even a really cool jazz-rap interpretation in the middle that is, again, surprising and absolutely fantastic. The EP starts off a bit lukewarm with the sugary ‘Beautiful’, but once it gets going, there’s a whole world of fun stuff to listen to and unpack.

It’s really great to see musicians experimenting and doing all sorts of crazy things, but sometimes the mark of a good artist is their ability to take established patterns and do something interesting with them. It shows an understanding of the form and an element of fun that not everyone has. Andrea Tariang does, though. ‘My Time’ is a fun listen and should be in rotation for quite a long time; in fact, it gets better with every listen. That’s not easy to do, and Andrea and her band have done precisely that.



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