Patio Unplugged: Abeineth's music is steeped in old-fashioned, folksy acoustic traditions

Prahlad Srihari

Nov 25, 2017 12:36:48 IST

Editor’s note: Patio Unplugged — a platform for indie artistes and a Lazy Patio Films production — is bringing over 30 musicians from Mumbai in its first season, to audiophiles. Born out of a love for acoustic music and a passion for film-making, Patio Unplugged not only provides a stage to artists but also a chance to record their music, and shoot two music videos. What sets this programme apart, is that artistes from across genres recreate their music in an unplugged format. Each artist/band featured on the show will perform two original songs. The Habitat Comedy and Music Café is the audio partner for the show. The Habitat also records, mixes and masters the tracks for Patio Unplugged and hosts the artistes every Saturday as an event called 'The Listening Room Sessions'. We're featuring each of the artistes from season 1, on Firstpost.

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Patio Unplugged: Abeineths music is steeped in old-fashioned, folksy acoustic traditions

Abeineith is the sixth artist to be featured on season 1 of Patio Unplugged. YouTube

Artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young (even Nirvana on MTV Unplugged) have proven over the decades that you don't always need a stack of Marshall amps to make a decent record. Without any heavy-handed attempts to sound hip or screaming guitar solos, they managed to make emotionally resonant music with a simple combination of sensitive to vigorous acoustic guitar-plucking and pensive lyrics. Patio Unplugged's sixth indie artist Abeineth's barebones, all-natural approach to music is steeped in similar old-fashioned, folky acoustic traditions. But unfortunately his efforts sound, perhaps by most metrics, pretty uninspiring.

Abeineth says he learnt the rudiments of playing the guitar from his musician father but, after familiarising himself with a few chords, he took a more self-taught learning approach. By the age of 18, he tried his hand at writing lyrics and then soon began composing original music.

Week 6 of Patio Unplugged sees Abeineth play two acoustic ballads: Frightening us and On my own.

After seeing a post on SoFar Sounds about the global refugee benefit concert series Give A Home, Abeineth was inspired to write a song about what is arguably the moral crisis of our era. On 20 September 2017, across more than 200 cities in 60 countries, over 1000 musicians — including Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé and Jessie Ware — came together to demonstrate their solidarity with the refugees. So, galvanized by the crisis, Abeineth too joins in with Frightening us, an anti-war protest song that hopes to raise awareness of the plight of refugees. His monotone flow and brooding lyrics work well with music stripped down to its acoustic basics. "Have you been silenced almost all your life now? Have you seen violence like all of us?" he sings in interrogative fashion. The song also features a pretty catchy, sing-along refrain. "Why are we fighting? Hold it. Hold it. They keep on frightening us!"

Abeineth's second song 'On My Own' is a moody and meditative ballad. "It talks a lot about myself and how I came up doing all of this on my own," he says. The confessional-style tune is one of those love-it-or-hate-it tracks. The vocals on the melancholy refrain, "If I keep waiting and I don't make it, I'll just stay here on my own" sounds awfully puffed against the backdrop of steady acoustic guitar strums.

Though his drawl provides an interesting contrast to his finger-picked guitar melody during the refrains, his vocals still feel laboured and listless in the remainder of the tracks. But Abeineth does possess the raw songwriting talent to create more captivating music in future.

Updated Date: Nov 25, 2017 12:36:48 IST