5 Homegrown Bands From The Northeast That You Should Be Listening To

5 Homegrown Bands From The Northeast That You Should Be Listening To

Over the years, there has been a shift in the way we interact with music. The coming together of the whole world in our 6.1 inch screens has allowed us to discover artists and genres that were not easily accessible before. Our playlists have diversified, however, there is a plethora of talent that the mainstream tends to ignore.

Among this is the Northeast of India, which has for long been a hub of talent and culture but has still escaped popular imagination when we think of artists. Rock music and the like have always stemmed out of this region but the immense amount of talent there still hasn’t been given its due. We’ve curated 5 must-listen bands from the North East of India that should be on your playlist.

A Folk metal band from Shillong, Meghalaya, Dymbur has been able to carve a distinct identity for themselves in the metal subculture by coining their own phrase called ‘thraat’. The experimental band noted in an interview that while the word meant nothing on its own accord it’s come to be associated with the band.

With ‘The Legend Of Thraat’, they’ve created a darker sonic territory with atmospheric moods and a bent towards modern metal brutality. The 10 track album was a representation of Dymbur’s evolving sound and thematically explores folktales and dark fantasy.

Their latest ‘Rape Culture’ thematically attempts to raise awareness on the rape crisis that is prevalent in India as well as showcasing Khasi traditional instruments (Ka Duitara, Ka Mieng, Ka Bom, Ka Shaw Shaw). The band’s shift towards using traditional instruments in their music has led them to term themselves as a ‘Khasi-thraat-folk-metal’ band.

Hailing from Imphal, Lo Peninsula is a three-piece shoegaze, dreampop, and psych rock band who named themselves after a business card they found in a guitar amplifier that read, ‘The Peninsula Studio’.

Of their debut EP, the band said ‘Our debut EP, ‘Lo Peninsula’, is a catharsis of the existential crisis that we have been facing since the band was formed. This is our response to all the trials and tribulations that we had endured since we took our baby steps as a band.’

Still experimenting with their sonic style and sound, the band’s dreamy, atmospheric sound has heavier elements that make them an interesting listen.

Serpents of Pakhangba is a theatrical avant-garde, experimental, folk, and free-jazz band conceptualized and formed by multi-instrumentalist composer Vishal J.Singh, of the internationally acclaimed multinational avant-progressive band Amogh Symphony.

Their line-up includes Fidel Dely Murillo (drums. percussion, sampler, sound design), Vishal J. Singh (guitar, guitar-synth, sound design), Manas Chowdhary (bass, bass-synth, sound design, effects) and Tanushree Saha (vocals, light language, kazoo, valiha, synth/keys).

The band hailing from the region of Manipur, draw inspiration from the region and its culture, both steeped in intrigue, but with little written recorded history. With legends and stories that depict forces of nature in the form of mighty deities and imposing goddesses, the cultural heritage of the Meitei people is full of inspiring folklore.

For their latest, drawing inspiration from his Meitei roots and combining this with the prowess of Tanushree Saha’s fresh vocals, avant-garde composer and musician Vishal J Singh revives the spirit of Serpents of Pakhangba’s debut self-titled album in this new iteration called ‘Neo Redux’.

Every member of the band brings their own unique touch to the music of Serpents, which is more about the musicians following their feelings rather than a score sheet or set composition. Vishal’s initial compositions provide a loose framework within which the band is free to improvise, jam, and express themselves without breaking the overall structure of the sound. Because of the free play nature of the music, no two renditions of the tracks are ever the same.

To talk about music from the Northeast of India without mentioning Tetseo Sisters almost feels like a crime. Considered to be Nagaland’s greatest cultural exports, the Chakhesang Naga tribe siblings– sisters Mütsevelü (Mercy), Azine (Azi), Kuvelü (Kuku) and Alüne (Lulu), as well as their brother Mhaseve (MKT) were always surrounded by music while growing up in Kohima.

Their artistic journey is a testament to their inherent interest in music as well as their capability to take their folk music to the world stage. Most of their songs are in the language of Li or folk singing in the Chokri Naga dialect and are a celebration of life, storytelling, and nature that surrounds them.

They have taken Naga folk tradition and its music beyond India to countries like China, South Korea, the UK, the USA, and Thailand. They’ve also been awarded the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Music in 2018 and the Best Folk/Fusion Act award at the Indihut Music Awards 2015.

Dimapur-based indie pop-rock band Trance Effect has breathed new life to the indie rock scene of Nagaland with their eclectic. The band that has been producing music since 2017 has been able to create a mark on younger generations. This was pretty much the reason that the bandmates– all from different musical bents decided to come together.

‘When we finally formed the innovative new act, the idea that actually kept us going was the possibility of making music as a band that would reach out to a younger generation,’ the band said in an interview. ‘Unlike many other alternative rock bands in the region, Trance Effect is a step away from 80’s nostalgia rock.’

The band consists of Iuli Yeptho as the vocalist, Sosang Lkr on drums, Tako Chang and Temsujungba Jamir on guitars and Imnamaong Imchen on bass. They recently won the best EP/album of the year (Editor’s Choice) for their EP ‘Clowns’ at the Indian Music Diaries Awards (IMDA) 2021.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we suggest you also read:

Related Stories

No stories found.