You may not have heard of Ocean, Parekh and Singh’s 2013 Western Indie album. Inspired by acts ranging from Simon & Garfunkel to Marvin Gaye the duo re-released the now viral video for “I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll” under their new name and new British indie label Peacefrog. The video has been since dubbed Wes Anderson-esque, with the man himself having personally appreciated Parekh and Singh’s suits in the video. It has since its released gathered 7,53,476 views on YouTube and counting- a feat impressive for an Indian indie duo. With Nischay Parekh’s singing, guitar and synth playing accompanied by Jivraj Singh’s drumming and percussion effects, their music is of whimsical quality and unique sound. The album has now seen more singles being released from it, “Philosophize”, and very recently- “Ghost”, in the May of 2017.
The tracks are of a cosmic, dream pop variety, and currently quite the pride of the Indian indie scene. The two have been friends since they were teenagers, and their music is reflective of childhood- tinged with the nostalgia of imagination and the fantastical peculiarity that only dreamy children can muster. “We just want to make pop songs in whichever way seems natural”, says Parekh, and their content is organic and genuine, more than anything. Friends from the start it’s perhaps this comradeship and bonhomie that allows their vision to be so unified, and ultimately achieves the sound, music and photography that they shoot for.
It’s not however their music alone that has heads turning and chins looking up- it’s their aesthetic. With poker faces, wry humour-laced suits and quirky cinematography, the band’s music videos have themes and palettes that absolutely delight. Picture this: Wes Anderson having a pastel conversation over tea with Woody Allen and Kubrick in a Kolkata coffeehouse. This is the aesthetic that Parekh & Singh channel in their videos. Shot by Misha Ghose and scripted by Parekh himself, the video is undeniably art- be it the mysterious bouncing blue ball that follows the duo around, or the hauntingly retro royal palace the video is shot in.
A year later, ‘Ghost’ came out just this May, and has over 3,41,000 views on YouTube. Avid consumers of pop culture themselves the boys are odd, spinning the cliché perspective of a dated India, their videos instead emulating a new world-class image of the modern, sharp, fashionable Indian. Their music and aesthetic appeals to and caters not only to the new batch of global but rooted Indians, but also carries international influence. Parekh and Singh’s unorthodox, floaty and creative sound and imagery is finally grounded in the landscape of Kolkata, lending a fresh breath of air in a time when item songs and desi rappers own the airtime and the ringtones. Parekh and Singh to put it simply, are a twosome that are serving more than niche audience for once, carrying a hitherto never encountered flavour- and they are here to stay.
With singles that could very well be the soundtrack to your daydream, if you haven’t seen their visually delicious music videos on their YouTube channel yet, what are you waiting for?