Light at the end of the tunnel

Seven years after they formed the band, Dark Light is out with their debut album; songs highlight themes of love, heartbreak, spirituality, solitude, science fiction and violence

Published: 04th July 2020 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2020 06:58 AM   |  A+A-

(From left) Mohammed Uvais Ali, Anand Pilakkat, Jose Xavier and Subir Telang , Meghana Sastry

Express News Service

BENGALURU: After road-testing material since coming together seven years ago, Dark Light is finally out with their six-track debut album. Known for their ambient soundscapes, detailed  instrumentation and  evocative vocals, the current line-up features Jose Xavier (lyrics/vocals), Mohammed Uvais Ali (guitars/bass/mixing), Anand Pilakkat (keyboards/sampling) and  Subir Telang (drums). While they have been releasing singles, the album comes after a long wait of seven years.

According to Ali, bands often take some time before releasing their debut album. And in this time, the members learned a lot about each other and music making. “Our writing and recording process is more streamlined and efficient now.  Throughout the years, the band  has  evolved  their sound  and  musicality as it could be identified in the current writing process,” says Ali. 

The city-based progressive/ambient rock outfit’s album  – In Space and Time – released on June 15 and comes across as a robust record. Songs cover different themes like love, heartbreak, spirituality, solitude, science fiction and violence, with a story behind each track. While Planet Goodbye speaks of a love for sci-fi imagery set in a parallel universe, Mountain Boy is on the lines of solitude and Valhalla is an exploration on the mythology of warfare from the perspective of Nordic stories.

“Satellite and Planet Goodbye are connected to one another and share a similar theme whereas Mountain Boy talks about the collective wisdom of indigenous people and its contrast with modern civilization. Sinkin Deep is about looking inward and speaks of spiritual journey while Circles is a reminiscence of a college romance,” says Xavier.  

While the lyrics in the album were penned by Xavier, Pilakkat terms the songwriting as a team effort. He adds, “The instrumentation builds on the narrative of each song and completes them. Some of the ideas stem from the music and vice versa.”  Mixed by Ali at  Astral studios, Bengaluru, and mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling studios, Nashville, Tennessee, the sound design behind each song aims to take the listener on an inward journey – creating an atmosphere in which a narrative is set. 

Telang says the sound of the band primarily revolves around the guitars and keyboard, with bass and drum inputs forming a unique rhythm section. He adds, “The guitar tones are meticulously selected by Ali, as are the samples and orchestration by Pilakkat  whereas I give a lot of the creative thought to the rhythm and drum sections.”

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