BENGALURU: After the release of their debut album Joro (Fever) in 2019, city-based Nepali folk fusion rock outfit Gauley Bhai is out with the video of Simrayo, a song from the 10-track album. Formed in 2017, the current line-up features Veecheet Dhakal (violin, vocals), Siddhant Mani Chettri (guitar, vocals), Anudwatt Dhakal (bass guitar, vocals) – originally from Kalimpong and Joe Panicker, from Calicut.
Directed the Ekta Mittal, the video revolves around two free souls, living in their own worlds, guided by free will and love, and is a provocation to a world that is afraid to let lovers be. "It is about a sense of wanting and yearning in life, often we playfully experience it in love - giving into impulse and desire," says Mittal.
She says the video tries to stay true to the spirit of Simrayo – a wild shrub that grows under springs in Kalimpong. "It is inspired by Simrayo’s wild nature, taste and fragrance as seen in the daring spirit of lovers," adds Mittal.
The sets, animation and post-production was done by Sharanya Ramesh, a stop motion animation filmmaker, with Amarjit Khalsa lending some interesting puppeteering skills to the video as well. While their debut album was an exploration of love, longing, memory and identity, the members share that the album emerged from the in-between space that migration often leaves you in.
"The lyrical imagery and the sound borrows from where we grew up – three of us in Kalimpong, and Joe, our drummer, in Calicut. We've all been in Bangalore for the last 10-12 years, and this is where Gauley Bhai was born," says Veecheet.
The album also reflects their experiences in the city and has a distinctly urban sound, while also borrowing from the memory of home, and a feeling of loss and longing. Portraying an infectious blend of folk fusion rock, the songwriting is seemingly inspired by the Nepali language but the members assert that it isn’t the complete case.
"We wouldn’t say that it borrows heavily from the language only. All four of us are committed to singing and writing in regional languages," says Chettri, adding that the grooves and rhythms are influenced by aspects of Nepali folk, South Indian percussive elements as well as genres like blues and rock.
"In the lyrics and vocal style, it is influenced by the way the language is colloquially and locally spoken in Kalimpong, rather than the language in its classical sense," adds Anudwatt. The lyrics have been penned by Veecheet but the music is composed by the band together.
While they have already worked on a video for Morau, in the pipeline are videos for Thupari Udi and Sangalanga Dooby. "Our tour in Nepal got cut short. But the lockdown has made time for a few other projects – we’ve got our studio space up and running for live recordings," says Panicker, adding that they hope to complete their second album by the end of the year.