Sky Rabbit plays High Spirits Café tonight (Friday, 6th Jan) at 9pm.
Verdict: Sit back, pop in, and take a holiday no matter how busy you are.
Real holidays are a rarity. Not those weekly offs that go by doing the hundred other things you couldn’t do because of your bread and butter. A real holiday is one where there’s no wailing alarm to attend to, no real agenda to plan out and live by, and frankly, no sense of urgency. Light, relaxing, breezy. Effortless, really.
Sky Rabbit’s eponymous debut album takes you on that holiday whenever you pop in the CD. Guitarist Rahul Nadkarni’s tones have the warmth of the Goan sun, drummer Harsh Karangale and bassist Siddharth Shah lock in to grooves that recall cheerful guides who make sight seeing a pleasure, while vocalist Raxit Tewari’s laid-back delivery comforts you and tells you that everything is alright. Accentuated by samples that don’t seem forced, you’re greeted by a familiar sound that puts you at ease with a stupid content grin on your face in no time.
The songs itself aren’t products of laziness, though each of the nine tracks will have you reaching for that snooze button repeatedly until you’ve seriously got something to get out of bed for. They’ve all been reworked and produced to sound airy and free, stripped of the heaviness that was characteristic of the band’s sound when they first started experimenting with samples some six years back. Crowd pleaser Anti-Coke Ganpati leaves you hopping around like a mad bunny on a sugar rush with its infectious chorus, while Oil, Sweet Smile Diving, and Clone, comparatively newer tunes, will paint soothing visuals of green and blue tinged with some red to disrupt their drony structures. Swimmer and Try will embed themselves in to your subconscious – you won’t realize you’re listening to them even after they’ve gone by, and that’s not a bad thing at all. I Become I and Hilltop are ethereal to say the least, and sound so much better here than on the John Leckie produced Soundpad compilation the band were part of in 2009.
At first, the lyrics may not seem to matter. Much of what Raxit voices is conversational, abstract dialogue seemingly pulled out of a hat one line at a time. But listen in deeper, and it reveals an informed, opinionated mind at work. The track that showcases this the best is March, with a smirk-worthy chorus that pierces through and leaves a permanent mark. And even if the other tracks don’t have that much of a lyrical impact, they will at least leave you wondering what exactly the songs are about, if at all.
The only drawback here is the fact that this is an album that’s been long overdue. Most of the songs have been peddled before in numerous avatars over the last six years when the band was known as Medusa. And though the change in moniker helps define the songs and the band’s sound much better (think of it as watching rabbits in the sky, and you’ll know why it fits like a glove), what remains to be seen is if the quartet can produce fresh material that’s equally catchy, refreshing, dreamy, and magical.