Sharath Narayan (vocals, guitars), Akash Chacko (drums), Sarang Menon (guitars) and Arjun Radhakrishnan (bass) are the 4 members of Indian, alternative rock band, ‘Black Letters‘. They got a lot of attention with their debut album ‘Shapes on the wall’ and now they’re on the verge of releasing another. We can safely assume it’ll be worth the wait.
First thing to note is Sharath has some real pipes on him. His vocals are one of the vital ingredients to Black Letters with his dynamic range that can reach a higher serenading pitch or belt out satisfyingly loud lyrics, the sort that could so easily fill a stadium gig. But the crescendo headed riffs and rhythms that these guys produce make for their signature along with the explosive flair of the drums. The album is made up of 8 tracks and is a great cocktail blend of excitable guitar waiting to be unleashed at the chorus and heavy bass plucks with slower tracks that focus on hooks and vocal melodies.
Check out one of our favourites, ‘Find you’ which contains the latter of the 2 previous descriptions, with the great opening electric guitar and rumbling drum intro which then floats onto the prolonged vocals connecting from chord to chord nicely. The song builds up to the chorus before reaching the “Find you” lyric which then brings the volume down in a dreamlike fashion that resonates in the head like ripples in the water.
Despite having such heavy riffs and loud vocals it still has a lush and laid back listening vibe to it if that’s how you want to take it. It’s difficult to describe but they can easily be listened to on a lounging Sunday morning as well as anytime you want some thrill and exhilaration. They are the musical version of Lenticular Printing. Exhilaration is exactly what you feel when listening to one of the best tracks of the album and Clowdy Staff Pick ‘Roam’. It fuels a fire in the verses as everything starts to gain momentum and then the chorus belts out and even non singers are singing it, trying to anyway, or at least mumbling the general tone under their breath. You can’t help get lured into their sound like jumping into water rapids when you hear their tracks….not that you’d resist it anyway.
So a new EP of about 6 to 7 tracks is on the way and they’re working on a change of sound which hopefully won’t lose too many elements of what makes Black Letters great but still manages to evolve into a new and unique chapter of their musical career. Keep an eye out and in the meantime head over to their Clowdy profile to listen to more.