Take loud and quiet in equal measure. Add a pinch of calm and a dash of chaos. Fellow Swimmers is from Guwahati, India, but make music for the mountains and the sea. We prefer keeping our identities (almost) faceless, as we want our music speak for itself. As such, our appearances are limited to faceless cameos, whenever possible.
Anatomy of the Genre
The DNA of Fellow Swimmers’ music revolves around moods and melodies. We revel in the quiet, embrace the chaos, and swim somewhere between them.
It’s our debut EP, although we do have an unreleased song by that name as well. The origin of the phrase came about from a dull smoggy morning where the sun - hidden behind clouds and smog - looked like a giant ball of death. The phrase had a ring to it, so it stuck. We released Morning Deathstar just under a year ago. Our biggest challenge is that we are both highly socially-aversive. Hence, most of the time, we struggle to reach out and self-promote. We are not worried about the music, but the other aspects that come along with putting your music out and marketing it.
We are on every music streaming platform, so no matter where you’re in the world, you can listen to our music. Community-building is something we are not adept at, yet. So, that does pinch into the listener count. But luckily enough, we made it to a bunch of end-of-the-year lists made by various media houses and tastemakers. Also, our song Late Blue got picked into a Spotify editorial playlist. So that worked in getting us newer listeners.
Is there an album in the works?
We have a whole bunch of unrecorded and unreleased songs that we’d like to release first. The idea was to do 2 EPs or 1 full-length this year comprising these songs, but the corona virus situation put a spanner to the works. But, the lockdown was helpful in a sense that it did amplify the songwriting process. We ended up individually writing a bunch of tracks so that’s for later. We are preparing to meet later in the year to record a first draft and take it from there. Here’s hoping we manage to put one record a year.
Set the Stage on Fire
Actually 3 stand out to me at the moment. Forkaal Music Festival 2017 which was our first time playing an event with such a star-studded lineup. Next up was in Cafe Hendrix, Guwahati in 2018. We broke 5 strings, swapped guitars between us, but managed to pull off a satisfactory show at the end of it. Thirdly, Sofar Sounds Bangalore 2019, playing an acoustic set in a room full of people with their eyeballs at you can be unnerving but we overcame the early jitters to finish our set with gusto. Man, social anxiety sucks!
An Ode to the Roots
Melody, man! From songs of the river to that of the tea-tribes. Who can forget borgeet and folk songs of our tribes? We’ve been exposed to it directly or indirectly ever since our childhood. I believe our strong association with melody comes from there. We have been lucky enough to have a smattering of support across the Northeast, even with our limited touring and anti-social bm. And it counts for a lot because the impostor syndrome is strong in us. I remember a gig where a group of 3 dudes were shouting for AC/DC covers. Exasperated, I told them to f- off because we don’t play covers or requests. By the end of the night, these guys were at the front of the crowd. That was super heartening to see. I did apologise for my outburst, though.
When we started out, one of our main tenets was that we are going to make music that we love listening to - on repeat. So that will continue guiding us, so much so that we have scrapped entire recordings and arrangements because something was missing. That is our primary reward. The gift of making music that one loves listening to. Second-guessing is a part and parcel of game. I think that’s a good thing we’ve got. We look at parts and see where they stand individually. If it’s not good enough, it’s back to the lab again yo. But we love this and it’s become a part of our work-ethic now.
On the Anvil
Only the road knows what it has in store for us. Regardless, we will keep walking, Undeterred.