Walls of guitar fuzz and soulful flourishes fuel New Delhi/Pune artist Colorblind aka Kartik Mishra’s new single “Devil On The Neon Porch”, featuring Mumbai-based producer and artist Cowboy and Sailor Man aka Apurv Agrawal. The final song is from Colorblind’s upcoming third album, The Evangelist.
If “Devil On The Neon Porch” is anything to go by, Colorblind appears to be digging even deeper into wavy, lo-fi, loud rock on its upcoming album, which is slated for release February 12. Written in 2020 after Colorblind’s previous single “Wormtamer”, Mishra connected with Agrawal during the shutdowns of that year to collaborate.
Among the few Colorblind songs to feature vocals, “Devil On The Neon Porch” may have Agrawal’s nostalgic, reverb-heavy vocals, but the lyrics were penned by Mishra. The artists evoke a dreamlike world inspired by The Cure and The Smiths, while nodding to shoegaze, post-rock and psychedelic rock. Below, Colorblind and Cowboy and Sailor Man discuss the making of the song, music video and more. Excerpts:
Rolling Stone India: How did this collaboration come about? Had you ever heard the music of Colorblind and what was it like to enter this world?
Apurv Agrawal: It came quite naturally. I actually discovered the music of Kartik aka Colorblind a while ago through Sajid [Wajid Shaikh, illustrator], who we both worked with for graphics and illustrations. We’ve stayed in touch ever since, following each other’s projects and along the way we’ve come to realize that we share a lot of similar interests and influences. Without forgetting that I was also a great admirer of Kartik’s art!
It was during lockdown in 2020 when we reconnected and he told me he was working on a new record. The idea of collaborating on a song seemed like the obvious thing to do and we were sure it would lead to something really exciting for both of us. And it did!
Working on this album must have taken a while, right? What was it like seeing it all the way after the release of post-modern holocaust in 2019 then the single “Wormtamer” in 2020?
Kartik Mishra: This album was a nightmare! Not because the arrangement was too complex or anything like that, but because I had to find the right mindset to record new stuff.
After post-modern holocaust, I felt very exhausted. I used to be busy trying to find my own voice as a musician (at least a temporary voice) and I felt post-modern holocaust was the exact point where everything fell into place, sonically. But after that, I had this huge psychological void of “Now what? »
So I completely stepped away from recording or writing new music and patiently waited for inspiration to come knocking on my door, while I focused on my other artistic pursuits such as film and music. painting.
What did you choose to sing for this song which is definitely a rarity in Colorblind’s catalog, especially when it comes to songs with vocals?
Agraal: It’s actually Kartik who wrote the lyrics to this song. He had them in the lyrics even before we started working on the song together. I had a strong idea for a vocal melody when I first listened to the demo and Kartik sent me these lyrics which just painted a really vivid and weird picture in my head. I liked it! And I just ran with it. But yeah, he’s the right person to talk more about the lyrics.
When you started working with Apurv, did you want vocals on this track? How did this side of things take shape?
Michra: I’ve always loved the sound of Apurv’s music and especially his work with [post-hardcore band] Pacifist. This song was the first demo I recorded after “Wormtamer” in 2019-2020 and luckily it was around the same time that we were in contact for a possible collaboration. I sent him this demo with some weird lyrics I wrote. He added his guitars and vocals to it, and eventually this demo turned into a completely different entity.
What can you tell me about the video you edited for this track?
Michra: The lyrics video is a small tribute to avant-garde Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky.
I was revisiting his 1999 short “Outer Space” one night and felt his edgy, loud analog cinema style was the perfect match for this song in terms of visual tone.
You both run in a sort of parallel wave in Indian post-rock/shoegaze music. Would you accept?
Agraal: Yeah I guess that makes sense. I mean this type of music is just such a small part of music in India that I’m not sure you can even call it a wave! But that being said, there has been a lot of shoegaze and post-punk inspired music in India that has been absolutely amazing! Artists like Hoirong, Little Whales, Begum, Lo! Peninsula and February 31 have all released simply amazing releases recently. Hopefully this continues and this wave gets big enough to crash on some shores one day.