Tuning in: Bonding ‘With Friends Like These’
Posted on 25 April, 2017 by Team Wishberry
I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
- Jack Kerouac
A good day — how do you define a good day? My days are good when I can sit down, late at night, and smile at the day gone by. My days are also ‘good’ when I can spend ‘quality time’ with a few friends that I have in this city — a city that remains unfamiliar, but is made a little friendlier by the friendly faces that I know will remain friends with me — to comfort and to egg me on — to create and to be the best version of this self presented to me by life...
Jishnu Guha aka Short Round recently released his second EP titled, With Friends Like These. It is a collaborative effort and the dynamic of every song hints at the diverse nature of the EP in terms of composition, but the stream of thought is singular — you are presented with modern-day living — a world of chaotic, transactional interactions, and equations — What do you do now? To be perfectly honest, this EP is something I can imagine the Beat generation warming up to — the likes of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs — drifters; in the alleyways of their minds and in life as well (Now, only if they were here in 2017 and witnessing the s@*t-storm we like to believe is the ‘best that the times can offer’!).
Losing Day (feat. Siddharth Basrur) is about longing... longing to find familiarity in a world that is increasingly becoming a shrunken microcosm of mundane lives, lifeless ambitions and commonalities that are, at best, liveable and at their worst — banal. But this “soul” will not go down without a fight... because “We are the million” — “Just show me to my crowd”. This one’s a personal favourite.
Nowhere to go (feat. Saurabh Roy) pleasantly baffles with its duality. The melody is uplifting (upbeat pop); the lyrics, though, are mindful of the nothingness that envelops us — “Nowhere to go, Nothing at all to do”. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs and this song sums that up — it’s like Waiting for Godot. Only in this case, Godot is busy ‘snapchatting’ or ‘gramming’ or ‘live tweeting’...
Autumn features Mali (along with Rahul Pais), a singer-songwriter I discovered recently (Thank you, SoundCloud ‘suggestions’). Her debut EP Rush is a current favourite and her honey-drenched voice does perfect justice to Autumn. The imagery of the song reminds me of lovers long lost “weary of the waiting”. I know I am reiterating but Autumn perfectly suits the EP’s mood — yes, there is love, yes, there is togetherness, yes, there are some who will never fail you — but, there is also pain, hurt, loss, and, with all of that comes a vacant nothing that engulfs one and all.
Get it into your head (feat. Anna Holmquist) is something my closest friend would tell me — you are in it on your own. Yes, you have a support system and a circle of people you can bank on, but at the end of the day, you have to do it yourself, because every human being you know, is fighting their own demons — “You’ve got a light within... You’ve got to get it into your head”... This is not about abandoning your friend; it is about telling them that they can surge ahead themselves.
Ghosts of your stories (feat. Fat Yellow Moon) — do you ever have moments when you sit on your bed at night and stare at the wall... thinking of nothing in particular? This song is for those moments — those moments of introspection... no, of careless introspection, when a “careless whimper from a careless mistake” startles you into realising ‘careless’ truths about yourself.
Rounding back to the first question that this post posed — how do you define a good day? I think Jishnu perfectly defines it With Friends Like These, in which he collaborated with people he calls friends... the result is there for everyone to witness and make a part of their lives (at least I did).
P.S.: Jishnu has also been releasing live session videos of songs from the EP on his Facebook page. Here’s a glimpse: