Banat Kaur Bagga, who uses her first name as the stage name, has dropped a rather introspective single called ‘Flish’. A combination of two words – fly and fish – the song is as strange as its name. The theme also hovers around these two creatures – one flies and the other swims.
But why would a song about fish and flies make us introspect? Because she puts across the profound concept that we are who we are and we can’t change that, however desperately we might want to. Also, the fact that the grass is always greener on the other side is also outlined slyly.
Now this philosophy can be consumed in two ways – either with acceptance or with a bitter side dish of discontentment and defeatism. Acceptance with oneself and one’s fate allows peace of mind and the song can even be perceived to be peaceful and soothing.
However, for those who resonate with the murkier world of discontentment, it can be rather troubling. Then the sombre chords on the piano can darken the heart and the fleeting runs on the higher octaves can feel like cold fingers clamping on one’s throat.
Her dreamy voice, invoking a fantastical aura, doesn’t help either. Compounded with echoes on different octaves, the whole result is a bit out of the world. But it scores big on surrealism!
The piano based song is a big relief in contrast to the primarily guitar based songs by singer-songwriters. Not that Banat cannot play the guitar, but her childhood training on the harmonium while reciting kirtans seems to be paying off now, as evident by her fluid skills on the keys.
If one closes one’s eyes, one can feel oneself being transported into a Western classical concerto as ‘Flish’ can be passed off as chamber music.
Banat’s compositions have a unique way of owning the silence outside the music and it becomes a part of the sound itself, expanding the otherwise sparse instrumentation into a vaster dimension. Quite like her music, Banat’s lyrics is also shadowy. It can seem a bit difficult to audiences used to simple, in-your-face songs, as there are hidden meanings beneath the literal meaning. Those who enjoy true poetry will enjoy her music too.
But all said and done, Banat is not for everyone. She has to be taken
with a pinch of surrealism and a whole lot of thinking.
Verdict: A genuine thought-provoker.