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Soulmate Release Their Third Album, Ten Stories Up

Feb 20, 04:58pm

We had the chance to speak to Rudy Wallang about the release of Soulmate's lastest album, Ten Stories Up.
 Photo Courtesy: Vijay Kate

Shillong’s blues rock pride and joy, Soulmate, who've been together for over a decade, released their third album, Ten Stories Up, at the Mahindra Blues Festival this month. This much awaited 10-track album was recorded at the YSR studios in Mumbai with Shantanu Hudlikar. Sharing their experience recording the album, guitarist Rudy Wallang told us: “We recorded at the YSR Studios in Mumbai, and it took us about two weeks to do the tracking of all the songs. It was great recording with Shantanu Hudlikar, as he understood the music and helped us get the sounds we were after while recording drum, bass and guitar parts. The vocals as well; the thing is, we had already performed these songs live many times before. So, by the time we got into the studio, they were ready to be recorded; we didn’t waste any time in that sense. The music you hear on the album is quite stripped down and to the point, like one would hear it live.”

If you have racked your brain hard enough, one answer to the age old: ‘What comes first, the music or the lyrics?’ – can be as simple as, “It hasn’t changed really...we write the lyrics first, then we compose the music to suit the lyrics. This is the way we’ve always written songs,” Rudy said about the band’s songwriting process. But, having said that, the band has indulged in a fair share of change in terms of musicality; vocalist and guitarist, Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar has written four of the songs in the album. “First of all, you will hear Tips’ song; that’s a different perspective as it is. The first two albums were written by me; then the fact that we recorded at YSR with Shantanu at the helm brings a different experience to the listener. Sonically it’s great! It’s been mastered by Chris Athens in Austin, Texas. The songs are contemporary as well as old school, so there is something for everyone in this album.” In addition to this, Soulmate have also ventured into the territory of collaborating with traditional Khasi musicians; in essence, shelling out an album with a touch of fusion to stimulate your taste buds for music. “We had done a song called ’Set Me Free’,” Rudy told us, “off our second album Moving On, for an episode of Fox Traveller last year. It was received quite well by our fans, so bolstered by that, we decided to do a live set with our Folk friends. It’s never been done before and I must say it went down quite well with the audience.” 

Soulmate surprised their fans at the Mahindra Blues Festival this month, giving them the first slice of the cake. The band played a memorable show, collaborating with traditional musicians and creating fusion. "This time around," he told us, "we included three of our Khasi folk musician friends to play a short set with. They used traditional Khasi instruments like the Duitara, Tangmuri, Ksing, Kynshaw and Besli. It sounded really refreshing and different as this was a collaboration of Khasi folk music and the blues. We think it was well received by our fans and everyone who came to listen to us.”

Listen to Soulmate below:

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