The code of conduct for finding out about a band only after it turned up on your Facebook timeline (oh, the shame) is just to pretend that you’ve been there from the beginning – and then quickly blog about it as evidence. And although ‘RUN! It’s the kid’ made their public debut (aka a Facebook page) only a couple of months ago, their music is so original and blatantly good that it’s surprising that there hasn’t been more mainstream/hipster-confused music websites singing their praises.
The band members are barely twenty, but RUN! It’s the kid clearly sound far more sophisticated and mature than you would expect. According to a small interview with Rolling Stone India, Dhruv Bola and Shantanu Pandit met at Delhi University and decided to start a project together. “Seeing that we had a unified idea in our minds about what each of us wanted to do musically, we took it forward” says Dhruv. The acoustic duo play indie and folk music. Both the songs that they’ve released so far are unabashedly assured, revealing a clear sense of direction, vision and aesthetic. There’s none of that pretentiousness affected by some south Indian bands whose only claim to popularity is to play exactly the same songs in different keys. My only concern is that Pandit mumbles through most of the song with only some lyrics being heard clearly, which is a shame because with the music so well-crafted, you expect their verses to be equally so.
Their first release, Move Over sounds like a soundtrack for the months of June and July, drinking cold beer, the warm sand and the bright, blue ocean. With an easygoing, upbeat melody and an universal sentiment that anyone with a pulse can relate to, Move Over is an irresistible little piece of music; your tapping feet will betray any repressed feelings which you believe to be in opposition to your better judgment; it completely captures the freedom of setting off on a carefree summer adventure – under the sun, driving along dusty roads and sailing over cool seas.
Bola and Pandit list Blind Pilot and Mumford and Sons among their influences, but the interplay between the delicate strumming of the guitar and effortless harmonic vocals that Aimless Quest opens with will instead immediately remind you of Elena Tonra/Daughter’s folksy, atmospheric ‘Run’. There’s an attractive depth to this song which owes as much to the space they allow as it does to how they fill it.
Aimless Quest’s melody is simple and most of the verses are stripped down to melancholy guitar lines intertwined with Pandit’s voice which is unobtrusive and yet prominent; in some of the verses, the strings add to the rawness of the vocals; but it’s these beautiful tones that give the song a remote feel, far removed from the everyday hustle and bustle; a perfect companion to a cold, rainy evening on a hill station. Subtle dynamic touches are woven in as the guitar and voice ebb and flow; intermittent throughout the song you can hear the sound of sea waves running back over small beach shells to the ocean. For a band that came out of the gate with such a fully formed and distinct sound, these slight nuances are immediately refreshing and interesting.
I like the way the world sounds through RUN! It’s the kid’s music. Here’s hoping their album garners the attention it deserves.