Treble Puns – Sounds Like Treble (2020) EP Review – Distinct, Experimental, & Worth Multiple Listens!

Genre: Fusion of Indian Classical, Post-rock, Electronica influences

EP Tracks: No Teacher’s Pet, Father of the Notion, Na Mask Aram, Momologue

Duration: 27 min

First off, a huge shout-out to the Bangalore based instrumental duo of Abhimanyu Roy and Sohini Bhattacharya, that goes by the quirky name Treble Puns. Read the names of the tracks and you’ll know better.

I’ve known Sohini for nearly a decade now, and I remember the times she used to come home and we’d chill to “Lazarus” and “Piano Lessons” by Porcupine Tree playing in the background.

Anyway, back to Treble Puns. Before I even got to sample their music, the album art (made by a Singapore based interactive design artist Samiksha Nair) caught my eye. It features a woman draped in bright purple, lounging in the soundhole of a guitar with one broken string. I felt it signified their nuanced approach to music – the same effect as that of using clever puns or twists in story-telling!

A quick first listen invokes the blues+progressive rock vibes of Led Zeppelin and Porcupine Tree blended with the contemporary, psychedelic style of Tame Impala, sprinkled with an electronic tinge of Daft Punk, and finally, Indian folk/post-rockers such as Parvaaz and AsWeKeepSearching. Now, these are bands that I either love and/or follow, and their influences in Treble Puns’ debut effort is what made me want to dig deeper.

It’s always in the second listen that you start to notice the uniqueness of each track. “No Teacher’s Pet” is a strong six-minute opener, instantly grabbing your attention with an intriguing keyboard composition, gradually breaking into Indian-styled riffs, albeit with a slight psychedelic twist. The progressive loops kick in toward the end of the song and they elegantly spill over to the following track, “Father of the Notion“. Much of this piece feels quintessentially Indian Ocean-ish, with some Western influences, especially the riffs in the latter parts of the track.

Na Mask Aram” begins as a standalone with a news reporter greeting his viewers (in Malayalam) using the same word. Tanpura proves to be an essential ingredient of this track and the way it meshes with powerful riff rhythms is simply a treat for the ears. “Momologue” is the final and longest track of the EP, playing along like a rock melody till it peaks midway and goes progressively ballistic with some excellent work on the percussion, ending things on a high.

Head here to log in to your preferred streaming platform to listen to the complete EP.

Interesting Inside Notes on the Album:

  • Sound and reliability were the two key things kept in mind by the band while conceiving the album.
  • The duo started off with bass and keys before all else – the initial sound experimentation was done on an iPad and a looper, with the exception of “Na Mask Aram”.
  • Studio sessions were overseen by Thejus Nair of Eleven Gauge Recordings.
  • They wanted to retain Indian-ness in the album without tampering with the EP’s authentic sound. They did so using a mix of shanks and sitar tones, alaps and Tanpura drones coupled with progressive basslines and uneven time signatures.
  • The vocals were all unscripted and captured from everyday routines of middle-class people (friends and acquaintances of the band).
  • What’s next for Treble Puns? The unique stories told by these tracks will be presented in the form of animated music videos. Keep an eye out for updates on their YouTube channel and social media handles.

Treble Puns is on Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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