The Mavyns Return With Their Debut Studio Album
The last time we checked in with indie rock band The Mavyns was back in June 2011, when they told us that they had written over 30 new songs. They’ve spent much of the last year recording some of those tunes, 13 of which have made it onto From The Tree of No Ledge, their debut studio album, which they will launch with a gig tonight, Tuesday, March 20, at Blue Frog. Though technically their third release—following Socegado Sessions, an EP of demo recordings, and The Mavyns Lick the Blue Frog, a live album—From The Tree of No Ledge, is in a sense, the work of a brand new band. Like they told us in June 2011, the acquisition of new instruments and new influences has led to an evolution in their sound. “Earlier, though not consciously, we had a somewhat British sound, now we’re indie in a certain sense but with a mixture of genres,” said bassist Varoon Nair. There are now “different moods in the same song”, which could have “slow blues lines, and also a real aggressiveness”.
The result is an album with tracks as long as nine minutes, which would have been a double-CD, except that, for the time being at least, From The Tree of No Ledge won’t be out on CD. Instead, it will be released in the form a code that can be used to download the album via the NH7 website, that will be sold at their gigs via cards (priced at Rs100), and printed on a The Mavyns T-shirt (priced at Rs399). The decision was made to save resources and not waste “a shitload of plastic”, said Nair. Lovers of album art work will be pleased to know that even though there is no physical release, The Mavyns will publish online visual interpretations of each of the 13 tracks. “We distributed the songs among friends who are artists and asked them to interpret them,” said drummer Kristofor Mendonca. The paintings, collages, photographs and illustrations include those by vocalist and keyboardist Vivek Nair, who also designed the album cover with a friend.
The launch gig, which will be their first concert in the city since November when they played the Celebrate Bandra festival, will feature a number of special guests including Bradley Tellis, the vocalist of pop-rock band The Colour Compound; flautist Shirish Malhotra (who recently performed with Bombay Bassment); and Goa-based mouth harp player Neptune Chapotin. As for the pun-friendly album title, Mendonca said that “people got all philosophical on us” when they first heard it, and that it works because it signifies “a tree with no boundaries”, and by extension, a collection of compositions without fixed meanings. Mendonca said that ”everybody in the band has their own interpretation of the songs,” the subject matter of which varies from observations on city life—”Under The Streetlight”, written by guitarist and singer Pradeep Mathews, is about the life of a prostitute—to more abstract concepts, such as spirituality—as favoured by Vivek Nair on tracks such as “Golden Silence”.