Mumbai-based producer Sandunes (aka Sanaya Aredeshir) has focused less on musical technicality, and more on emotional catharsis on her latest EP, Spare Some Time. While for some this decision might compromise high production standards, that’s not the case here. Spare Some Time is a polished, calming, electronic mediation on the necessity of expressing emotion. The four track creation is an aural salve for overwhelmed ears, flowing with shimmering synth textures and soothing beats that remind listeners to take stock of the love in their lives.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Sandunes to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that influenced her writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to Sandunes’ track ‘Love It Less’ & her new EP at the end of this post.
1. Bonobo – Dial M for Monkey
There was a phase when I was a college student in Bombay, where these tunes soundtracked life as we graduated from conformity into rebellion. My very first experiences of freedom or independence are so intertwined with this album, and it does that thing of physically transporting me to a blurry and beautiful time from a previous life, where with a group of friends in a beach town by the ocean, we woke up and fell asleep to this record for days on end. There is something so mystical, innocent and whimsical about it, and it is also what inspired me to start producing my own music. (I’d highly recommend this for nighttime winding down routines.)
2. The Books – The Lemon of Pink
This is another one I keep returning to. I think the idea of composing music from a formulaic place is usually looked at negatively, but the concept with this body of work was extremely gripping, and so well executed. I fell in love with the way this sound collage unfolded, and the combination of textures, tones and samples really inspired my awareness towards found sound in my environment. (I’d highly recommend this for long drives out of the city.)
3. Air – Moon Safari
Another piece of nostalgia in this album. I think the meaning of the term “classic” varies for each of us, and to me Moon Safari is just that. Also another sound track from a previous life, this one laid the foundation for all things trip-hop and definitely inspired some songwriting, attention to detailed production, and synthesis! I remember having an “Aha!” moment with ‘Remember’ at some point when I realised what I loved about the tune was all the synths. (I’d highly recommend this for the backdrop of your next potluck…in a post pandemic world when you can dine with all your friends again!)
3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
I have had many walks, many drives, and shed many tears to this album. There is something so pure, honest and organic about how these songs have been written and recorded. It cuts through the clutter and hits the emotional nail straight on the head. I remember finding it especially gentle on the ears after listening to a lot of over-produced electronic music, going back to vocal harmonies and guitars feels like balm to the soul. (I’d highly recommend this for your next hike/solo trail up a mountain.)
4. 30/70 – Fluid Motion
A more recent addition to this list and what I’m currently listening to. I love everything about this album. I find it bold, I love the choices, the musicianship, and I love how the artistry with regard to musical skill meets production and delivery so well. Each time I listened, I felt like there was so much scope to absorb something new that was happening.
(I’d highly recommend this for your next dance party.)
5. Coco Rosie – Grey Oceans
I love this album and had it on repeat at a time when my ideas about songs and song structures were beginning to expand beyond traditional songwriting. There’s so much whimsical movement and magic woven into this record that it really captivated my imagination and always seemed to paint a very visual picture. Despite encompassing a range of emotions like sadness and melancholy, this record shines a light on the end of the tunnel for me. (I’d highly recommend this to deal with grief or loss.)
Photo Credit: Abhilash Bhaishya