With every passing day, the eternal words of W.H. Davies, “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare,” echo louder than ever. Our fast-paced lifestyle provides no room for introspection and dwelling on memories and past experiences – underrated activities that are essential for personal growth. Sanoli Chowdhury is a singer-songwriter and guitarist based out of Bangalore with an ethos that explores unknown feelings and the subconscious. Her understated, whispery vocals and abstract songwriting help her stand out from the crowd.
The most striking single from her debut EP It’s All a Monotonous Game, “Dear Carol”, and its accompanying music video, explores aspects of memory and consciousness in ways language fails to describe. Her melancholic and restrained vocals are sung from the point of view of an omniscient observer, attempting to shape and guide a fictitious Carol using only the fragments of memory and remnants of emotions that would eventually define Carol’s life in the years to come. The abstract lyricism taps into the “subconscious awareness” that Sanoli seems to be fascinated by throughout her discography. The music is dreamy and hypnotic and exists merely to create an atmosphere without taking anything away from the vocals. Her music is a gateway for her to understand herself and to allow others to project their own experiences onto the abstract lyricism in order to morph it into their own psyche.
The accompanying video takes cues from the stream of consciousness storytelling of Tarkovsky. The seemingly random shots of nature coincide perfectly with the atmosphere and message of the music. The various transitions, camera movements and colour grading hint at the fact that the video and by extension, the music, are told from the perspective of a prescient being.
Sanoli’s personal and understated approach to songwriting is certainly unique in the current landscape. Given enough time to mature and develop, where her music takes us is definitely worth tracking.
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