Do you ever like picture chaos? And no I do not mean the lawless driving on streets. But more like happy chaos, the kind brought on by a joyous occasion. This feeling could in part be attributed to Peter Cat Recording Co.'s very peculiar use of imagery but the sense is well delivered in their music, certainly in A Portrait of a Time, both the album and track.
It certainly would be difficult to pick one track from the album to feature here were it not for my affection for the title track; the track through which I was introduced to the band. It's also a funny story. My university's band performed this track at an event which I missed. It was only a couple of days later that I caught a clip of their performance on Instagram. I was stunned. The track was obviously beautifully delivered but there was a certain magic to it by itself. My instinct was that it's a song by an American band, recorded years ago. I could not have been more wrong.
Peter Cat Recording Co. is a Delhi based band that describes its sound as ranging from "gypsy jazz to psychedelic cabaret; ballroom waltzes to epic space disco; bossa supernova to uneasy listening." Portrait of a Time was released in 2018. The album is a mix of eclectic sounds that capture 50s jazz and Bollywood influences alike. What stands out about their album is, of course, the journey from the first track to the last: lyrics interspersed with sounds that reflect a certain mood. The band has this unique quality: it appears to the listeners that they are not contemporary: as if they belong to an era gone by. No, their sound does not imitate anything from the past: it is perhaps just the way the music is arranged, helped beautifully by the lead singer's effortless crooning. Perhaps the name is accurate: the painting of an erstwhile time. Minute and attentive, it would still be a portrait, a representation.
The mélange really is perfect. It leaves the listener wanting more and thankfully their new album Bismillah was released recently. There is no running away from Peter Cat Recording Co. Their ingenious sound has satisfied the longing for such sounds and even though they don't surface as much, we're certain to keep an eye on them.
Let the Portrait of a Time infuse your summer with an unexpected retro vibe.
You can learn more about Peter Cat Recording Co. here:
About the curator - Aarushi Aggarwal
Aarushi is a senior at college and is majoring in history and international relations. Her music library is as much home to jazz as it is to Indian classical. Her passion for discovering new music far supersedes other equally important things like finishing assignments on time. She loves dogs, coffee and chocolate.