Living the dream

Living the dream

Indie rock

Living the dream

The latest album of ‘The Imaginary News’, an indie-rock band, is a smorgasbord of the old school 80s pop.

Far from the sound and fury of today, their album ‘Time’s On Your Side’ exudes a cheerful, happy vibe and rankles with rich hope for a better tomorrow. With Ankit’s clean and genuine vocals, the songs convey the meaning of life in a melange of chord sequences and strong melodies without any glitz or airs, adding to the largesse of the pop-rock genre.

Started by singer/songwriter Ankit Ranganathan, the band renders a potpourri of his compositions written over the years and this album is mostly a collage of songs that the band has played live.

Ankit says, “We felt that the time had finally come to record our tunes and put out an album. Anything and everything in life works as an inspiration for song-writing. We are very big on ‘The Beatles’, ‘Elvis’, ‘The Byrds’ and ‘The La’s’. Pop is what I primarily grew up on. Listening to MTV, buying cassettes/CDs and making mixed tapes was my thing as a child. So writing this kind of music is very natural.”

Most of their songs revolve around love and experiences related to love and Ankit finds it creatively stimulating to write about the universe, the Sun, God and other such “surreal subjects” in his songs.

Talking about one of the unique tracks, ‘Lucky Summer Day’, keyboardist Raghav Sarathy says, “Ankit and I were driving around and listening to the radio, when suddenly we got the idea of starting our song with a radio sample. So one night, I turned on the radio at home, tuning it from one channel to another with a mic in my hand and recorded the transition of sounds as it was happening. We were all very happy with how that song turned out.”

Though the band mainly comprises Ankit, Raghav and Vinay, they also brought in a few talented sessions musicians who played for their album and lifted it to a different level. They are now a five-piece-band, enriched with some of the City’s best talents, with Ankit on vocals and guitars, Vinay on guitars, Raghav on the keyboards, Abheet on bass and Preran on drums. Most of the musicians are self-taught except for Vinay who started playing the ‘tabla’ ever since he was seven-years-old and then moved towards learning the guitar.

The band has played at venues such as ‘The Humming Tree’, ‘BFlat’ and ‘Counterculture’; their biggest milestone being playing at NH7 in 2014. Vinay says,  “I love how talented everyone is in our city. It’s a pleasure to be a part of the scene. The only concern is that most of us are not bold enough to make it a full time profession. We all have jobs that support us financially. Hopefully, the scene will change for the better soon so more musicians can take the leap from working on music part time to full time.”

The band is now focussed on going viral with this album. They are currently planning a massive seven-city tour to promote ‘Time’s On Your Side’ early this year and are also shooting a couple of videos of the members performing acoustic versions of their album tracks.

Raghav adds, “It’s difficult to say where we will be five years from now but playing all over the world, meeting new people, releasing more albums and singles, experimenting with new music and discovering ourselves in the process — that’s the dream!”