Parekh & Singh have been called many things since their inception / transformation / rebranding exercise. The pop princes of India, ice-cream candy bars, and even characters straight out of a Wes Anderson film—all labels put on them by varied publications. At the heart of it however, they’re two friends conjoined by the same pincode and a love for pop hooks and synthesis in music. Fresh off the success of their debut record, Ocean, the duo have just dropped the first single, titled ‘Summer Skin’ off their yet-to-be-announced sophomore record. Stream the new single below.
The single is a deeper exploration of their dream-pop world, but immediately sounds like a mature step forward following their impressive debut. Lyrically as well, Parekh seems to have taken a leap that doesn’t discount the childish innocence of their music, yet is entrenched in adolescent melancholy. With pop culture references on point, intricate synth playing and a hook that’s masked behind a beautiful lull ‘Summer Skin’ is sure to be a gig staple. Many songs off the new album have been tested by the duo multiple times at gigs, and fans can expect to hear a heady mix of tunes from both albums at upcoming gigs in 2019.
I’ve known the duo for a few years now, and having experienced their music in varied environments—a festival stage, their Ballygunge jamroom in Kolkata, at music video shoots—it’s fair to assume that the new offering of songs will have a fairer share of fans than detractors. Followers of the band, feverish off-late, are starved for new music and any recorded material will be appreciated. We caught up with Nischay Parekh, one half of the duo, to chat about the new single, upcoming album, future plans and related philosophies. Interview below.
VICE: You've had the song ready for a few years, so how does it feel to have it finally out, especially as the lead single off your new yet unannounced album?
Nischay Parekh: Patience has been a funny and somewhat rewarding concept to grapple with. In my earlier years as a musician, I have often released music to Soundcloud almost as soon as I felt it was finished. Allowing time to pass before we release this new music has enabled us to build a bigger world for it.
The first thing about 'Summer Skin,' besides its lush production and immersive soundscape, is the runtime. The longest Parekh & Singh song on record yet, but barely feels it’s 5+ minutes; what makes it exciting for you?
This was a very intuitive song for me to write. I’m not used to creating long pieces of music and the outro/extended ending of the song just happened quite organically—while I was recording it actually. The song ended and I just kept going. The words came to me. I’m the type of musician that enjoys structure and preparation, but it was nice to just let the music flow in this case.
Fill me in on this: There's a new colour scheme that comes along with this album, but how tired are you of being asked about the suits now?
We approach our art almost episodically. Continuity and cohesiveness have always been important for me. The new colours and visual language are an evolution of where we started with Ocean .
You’ve mentioned that you would like to make films, not once, but many times. Where do you see the duo take things here on, visually, and in the career arc?
I create stories, and film has been a new and natural passion in my journey. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in the conception and execution of our music videos. I love learning new practices and applying them as soon as possible.
With the album release slated for the first quarter of 2019, what is the plan to keep the fans engaged till then? Any tour plans? Videos?
We’ve created a lot of things; the extended break between albums has been incredibly productive. There will be more singles and there will certainly be more videos.
As a duo from the sleepy, laid back city of Kolkata, on a label in the bustling metropolis of London —how do Parekh & Singh explore their idea of surviving on a daily basis, that keeps it engaging enough for you, and the fans alike?
It’s easy to survive and be engaged when we’re both so happy to work on every single aspect of our careers. Whether it’s cropping a photo for Instagram or researching the technical aspects of mixing music, we’re always communicating and collaborating.
‘Summer Skin’ will be available on all streaming platforms on November 30, 2018. Parekh & Singh will to release their new album via Peacefrog Records in the first quarter of 2019.
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