Sanoli Chowdhury is a producer and audio engineer based out of India who is currently enjoying a growing international reputation. Her subtle guitar and vocal stylings developed since her earliest days are centred around the navigation of hidden feelings, memories and emotions, or what Sanoli herself describes as ‘a subconscious awareness.’
This search creates songs where narrative melancholy and a sense of detachment work towards full communion with the secret self, creating a singular world view and allowing for a gradual unification and reawakening of both artist and audience. Her music soundtracks that which isn’t easily expressed, while her words become signposts to previously uncharted terrain. She has recently released a five track EP titled “A Distant Meadow”, and that’s what we are reviewing here.
Let’s get one thing straight, doing a track-by-track breakdown of this EP will be unjust as it is a musical piece where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it should be enjoyed as such. Even her reinterpretation of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart” also flows with the general sonic structure of the EP.
The thrill of unearthing and sharing obscure gems like this is one of the reasons that makes writing about music fun. “A Distant Meadow” features some dreamy vocals layered over ambient music that is strikingly original. Instead of simply backgrounding pastoral tones with environmental location sounds, Sanoli Chowdhury has reimagined how the natural world might sound on a hypersensitive and microscopic level.
The resulting electronica is often brilliant, a complete integration of fidgety sounds and tonal synths that are less abrasive and more soothing than you might expect. It’s always amazing to witness ambient and experimental music breaking through the barrier of accessibility without “selling out”.
“A Distant Meadow” is an EP that is rich in personal stories, moods, and nostalgia, perhaps directly derived from Sanoli’s personal experiences, but universal in theme. It is a powerfully suggestive listen, a measure of her compelling musical talents. “A Distant Meadow” might need a few listens to completely enjoy and appreciate everything that it has to offer but trust us, it’s totally worth the time and effort.