Listen: Abrupt / 4-2 by Bharat Rajagopalan feat. Hrishi Giridhar

As far as songs dedicated to college memories and unsaid farewells go, instrumental prog rock artist Bharat Rajagopalan takes the route less trodden on his second single ‘abrupt / 4-2’. Where anyone would have expected a laidback, bittersweet and nostalgia-bearing song written with an acoustic guitar, Rajagopalan offers something else entirely more emotive, journeying and sparkling across nearly seven minutes.

Taken from his upcoming album in which the guitarist-producer is dedicating one song to each semester of college life, ‘abrupt / 4-2’ follows Rajagopalan’s solo debut song ‘Paper Kite’ from last year. While ‘Paper Kite’ was more about the simplicity of childhood and youth, ‘abrupt / 4-2’ feels like it’s as much about the pandemic wreaking havoc to an important academic year as it is about seeking closure and saying goodbyes. All this, just with dexterous yet patient rhythms, soulful turns with guitar melodies and dreamy synth layers.

Rajagopalan is a drummer and guitarist who has been part of college bands through the years. He’s showcased a range that covers jazz-fusion artist Tigran Hamasyan to India’s guitar hero Blackstratblues and erstwhile pop-rock band Silk Route. On ‘abrupt / 4-2’ he’s more about pensive movements taken from modern prog guitar heroes such as Plini and Intervals’ Aaron Marshall. It all bursts to life in post-rock manner, before introducing a starry guest guitar solo by Hrishi Giridhar, the axeman for Hindi alt-rock band Anand Bhaskar Collective, whom Rajagopalan saw live at his college festival in 2018.

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