BENGALURU: Indian folk-fusion band Swarathma has just dropped their latest album Raah e Fakia, which they launched at Fandom at Gilly’s Redefined, Koramangala, last Friday. Comprising Vasu Dixit, Pavan Kumar KJ, Varun Murali, Sanjeev Nayak, Jishnu Dasgupta and Joel Milan Baptist, the band has also released a graphic novel, which, Jishnu says, was an attempt to get their fans to “hold, touch and feel even as they read”.
Vasu talks about their new album, saying, “Raah e Fakira features eight new tracks that represent the band’s new direction. It is a blend of a contemporary sound and Indian earthiness, and the songs speak as much of journeys inward as songs of social consciousness, which the band is known for.”
Talking about how they merged music and art, Jishnu says that all their songs are stories. “We wanted to enhance that experience through another medium – of graphic novels and comic books – which are a wonderful storytelling mediums. Such comics are things we’ve all grown up with. Each story is inspired by the songs, and the artists and writers have collaborated to bring this picture storybook alive.
In an age where everything is digital, we wanted something that people can hold, touch and feel even as they read.” On looking at teasers of this graphic novel, one can’t help but notice its superhero feel. “Personally, I am a huge comic fan. I am a collector and love superheroes.
To begin with, the sound of the album has taken quite a spin from our previous work with regards to songwriting, production, etc. From the conceptual phase, this album was headed more into an inward journey, with many members actually going down our own paths and finding ourselves along the way. We’re using superheroes as a way of showcasing that same journey. If you notice the story behind every popular superhero, it actually has a great story of finding, seeking or understanding something really deep within themselves. We are using it to draw a parallel with our own stories,” says Varun.