Apart from lending its name to the 4-track EP, Fleeting Fancy refers to the ever-turbulent nature of the human mind. As the producer and multi-instrumentalist, Venkat Raman states, the EP is a take on this fleeting desire to seek something or someone for a brief period as within time, humans would ‘move on to the next shiny thing’.
It is hard to point a finger towards one distinct track among the 4 chapters of Fleeting Fancy. This is because each song flows so seamlessly into each other that the EP succeeds as one consistent mood. In the name of EPs, these days indie artists (and especially instrumental ones) end up just clubbing a random set of songs together without any persistent theme.
The sonic chaos in Raman’s songs is perfectly catchy and atmospherically rich enough for listeners especially if they are into genres like funk. Rather than just relying on a jazzy instrumental ensemble, there are traces of electronica that resemble several neo-jazz and blues rock experiments.
The EP opens with Trail Runner, a track that sounds ominous in the start but then adds an optimistic tone with a rousing orchestral refrain and some classic Niles Rogers-style funk guitaring. The track is perfectly suited for a dramatic chase scene in a thriller flick. Trail Runner is followed by the equally-dramatic Headrush that amps up on the guitaring. One can only wonder how engaging Raman’s music would be if he gets to perform tracks like Headrush live on stage.
The third track October acquires a slightly mellow tone and the multi-instrumentalist proves that he can handle calming moods too. If you need a track to unwind at night, October should be your pick.
Finally, the EP closes with the titular track Fleeting Fancy. Some of the bass riffs on the song are groovy enough for the listeners to bob their heads. This ultimately segues to some synth-heavy goodness. Fleeting Fancy blends a touch of 80s and new-age retrowave to Raman’s usual amalgamation of blues, funk, rock, jazz, and R&B.
Often, fusion instrumentalists end up working on projects that might sound too pretentious or derivative. In the case of Venkat Raman, the 21-year-old seems to showcase an original voice in his EP. As this is just the start of his journey, one can expect further potential from him.
Verdict: Groovy, funky, and everything in between.