Subhodip Banerjee is a well-known guitarist in the Kolkata music circuit. Ive had the chance to see him perform live a few times with his former band Safire and his current band Ifs n Buts, and being a quiet and peaceful person, his persona generally tends to show during his on-stage performances. His music is a reflection of this calmness. The last few months have seen him busy on a nifty solo project named July,named after the month it was released this year.
As with most EPs coming from a guitarist, Subhodips July is also an instrumental piece of work, sailing through the boundaries of Blues, Country, Ambient and a bit of Alternative Rock. Fans of the Mumbai band Summit Attempt would in particular find this EP a treat to listen to since many of the tracks seem to be influenced by this bands work.
There are tracks like Blithe, If I Dont and Sundown, with serene psychedelia, lots of spacey guitar solos, acoustic guitars and synth effects in the background. All of these songs make you want to sit back and relax. Blur is another track that has this fat bluesy guitar tone but minus the highs. Elements of groove come into the album at precise locations such as with the track Hilly. It has some crafty, accented drumming alongside a very jumpy riff and some beautiful interludes, making this one of my favourite compositions on the EP.
Another admirable aspect of the EP is the presence of some delightful arpeggios in every song that are simple yet very elegant. This brings me to another one of my favourite tracks, Moving On.The intro to this song is so soothing and the solo that follows it has that slight play on the pentatonic, which makes it an amazing listen. Another interesting track on this EP is Time Machine.This composition has a good mix of groove, arpeggios and solos. Also, the guitar overlay work featured on it is extensive. I had to listen to it 4-5 times before I could work out the layers.
As much as I enjoyed this EP, I found the drums to be bugging, especially on Time Machine where it sounded repetitive.On other tracks the drums were too loud or even a little sour at times. But taking into consideration that the recording was home brewed by the guitarist, the poor drum recording can be ignored. People who love acoustic/blues/ambient rock are in for a lovely surprise when they take this EP for a spin and its soundscapes are best experienced on a cold drizzly morning with a peg of whiskey in one hand and a good book in the other. Give it a listen here on Soundcloud. And if you enjoy it then I also recommend you check out Subhodips other projects Ifs n Buts, Neel and The Lightbulbs and Anupam Roy Band.