Pune's Easy Wanderlings Are The New Band To Know

Pune's Easy Wanderlings Are The New Band To Know
Easy Wanderlings

As I trailed into the Gray Sparks Audio in Pune I didn’t really know what to expect from my evening at my first BYOH (Bring Your Own Headphones) gig. Since I’d hung back and come in last, I found myself at the very front of the audience with an unobstructed view of the band, a coveted spot for some, but a dreaded one for me and my incurable social awkwardness. There was a flurry of activity as people plugged in their headphones and shifted restlessly trying to find a comfortable position, and then silence.

A couple of sound checks to make sure they were coming through loud and clear, some adjustments to the cameras filming the session (did I mention how much I hate being on camera?) and they were ready to begin. A simple flute melody filled my ears and within the first few bars of ‘Ode To A Bristlecone’ I felt all that nervous energy and doubt subside. Yes, it was definitely worth venturing into the outside world today to experience the Easy Wanderlings.

Formed in 2015, this Pune-based band has already had a rough road to success, but one that they’ve shaped to be exactly what they wanted. For most of their career they kept themselves relatively anonymous, preferring to let their music take precedence over their individual identities.

“But we didn’t want to be known as that anonymous band either you know, that would totally defeat the purpose,” laughs songwriter and guitarist Sanyanth. There was once even a hefty reward of a gulab jamun promised to anyone who could reveal their identities. The truth is, they’ve always been available to anyone who cared enough to ask.

As they played steadily through the tracks of their debut album ‘As Written In The Stars’, I was forcefully reminded of the mellow sweetness of Simon and Garfunkel, who I later learnt were among their many inspirations, along with the Kings of Convenience, Bread and for vocalist Pratika, the soulful sounds of Aretha Franklin and Etta James.

Most of the Easy Wanderlings haven’t had any formal musical training, a fact that hasn’t slowed them down at all since they prefer to focus more on the feel of a song and making it a relatable experience for everyone, something that they definitely succeed in. The track ‘I For Little Things’, was written about the vagaries of turning 25 (a phenomenon I’m becoming all too aware of myself) but band manager, Sudhir once said that the track feels like it was about his life despite being a little further along in years. That’s their magic at work, numbers don’t matter and their music transcends differences and taps into the common human experience.

Since they were formed they’ve worked tirelessly to perfect their music and they’re always looking for ways to include every members’ opinions. Their effortless band dynamic both in and out of the studio translates to their work, their process is fluid with the melody shaping the meaning as often as their experiences and inspirations lead the way to the music.

When they first started out, they only released singles, this was because they were still testing the waters when it came to their music, combined of course with the fact that they were severely broke. In fact, when they played at NH7 Weekender for the first time, they didn’t even have guitars. Their first recordings were done in makeshift home-studios with instruments and equipment cobbled together from all over the place, as they put it “Everything was jugaad but we made sure we had the best quality jugaad

They credit their current success to the dozens of people who believed in their vision, whether it was their fellow musicians who lent them guitars for gigs, kind sould lke their friend Matt who went shopping for his own guitar in the US but decided that Sanyanth had a need greater than his own or even Gray Sparks studio who let them record their album for free and pay them back whenever they were able.

“We may not have had guitars but we had a good community around us.” it was this community that inspired the as yet unreleased song ‘Heroes of the Way’ a track dedicated to all those personal heroes who made this album possible.

As Written In The Stars’ was shaped just as much by their failures as their accomplishments and their belief that everything would fall into place in the end if they never lost sight of their purpose. In some ways it typifies their aura, creating a place you just want to lie down, close your eyes and get lost in the music, they even joke about a Bring Your Own Mattress gig where people can truly tap into this feeling. Until that day comes, you can always find them playing an intimate gig to an audience that actually want to listen, so pull up a cushion and sink into the Easy Wanderling experience.

The 6th of September marks the launch of their campaign #IWanderEasy where you can share your own Wanderling moment. It could be a short video or cool picture of your own travels, anything that reminds you of the freewheeling Wanderling spirit. Share these with the band on their Facebook and Instagram pages to be featured in a compilation video that will be screened on-stage during their performance at the Pune NH7 Weekender in December!

Their album As Written In The Stars is available on iTunes and Spotify.

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