AsthaTamang-Maskey’s new Muse

  • All the tracks in the new EP have a sense of cohesion and work well together. The ideas relayed are simple but sincere and the album will be very relatable
- Yuvash Vaidya

Jul 29, 2018-

Two of the first three singles—More and Muse—of Astha Tamang-Maskey’s latest EP have been released, and the third is slated to release on August 31.  These songs are a testament to her growth as an artist. She has embraced the electronic wave while still retaining her signature touch. Her earlier two albums are more singer-songwriter oriented and her new single retains that emotive flair.

However, her new singles also show that her music has matured considerably over the years as she has become a more versatile artist. Her latest release is an EP under the name Muse.

More is the first single on the EP and is also the first of several collaborative efforts with different producers. The  verses  reflect on  the  struggles  in  a  relationship, its deep frustrations,  loneliness  and  tragic misunderstandings, while the brighter, uplifting chorus speaks of the reliance and endurance of love, providing a counterbalance of emotions earlier expressed.  “We  are  sitting  here  alone  in  this  empty  room,  caught  up  in  all  these  crazy  feelings  I  don’t  know  if  they’re  real.  And  I  cannot  read  your  mind,  but  I  can  feel  your  heart.  So  why  don’t  you  lay  it  on  me,  and  I’ll  lay  it  on  you?”  Astha says that she  relates  closely  to  this  verse,  because  for  the  first  time,  I’m  in  a  relationship  where  the  two  of  us  are  willing  to  confine  ourselves  in  a  room  and  sort  things  out  without  walking  out  the  door.  “I’m  still  learning  to  practice  unconditional  love  but  the  practice  of  it  makes  me  a  better  person,” she said.

There are a lot of potential and plenty of directions her music could have taken but Astha chose a minimal electronic approach. More abandons the conventional instrumentation of guitar, keyboards and drums and prefers using synthesised sounds emphasising tone and atmosphere. This less is more approach to music also emphasises her voice itself, which is beautiful. The lush vocal harmonies and doublings somehow make the words she sings sound more powerful. It isn’t just the good beat and a catchy hook, Stay is a record to watch out for where her own voice is sampled through a future chill vibe and is a definite groove based track.

Astha found touring around the world to be a deeply emotional experience. Muse, the EP, is a culmination of all these journeys and has high production value due to her work with various Nepali and foreign producers such as Jay author, Manny Rite, Captain Cl!ck and Myles “Losh” Shwartz. The collaborations have made it so there is a touch of R&B, Indie and the Folktronic genre in her new sound. All the different tracks have a sense of cohesion and work well as a single work, the ideas relayed are simple but sincere and the album above all, will be very relatable.

So far Astha has seven songs in total for the English EP, three for Aama-Chhori and is aiming for seven songs for an upcoming Nepali EP. “I am shooting my next video next week, not sure as to how many videos I will release! There will be something on YouTube for every song though, for sure, at least a lyric video,” she assures fans.

Astha’s new project showcases her versatility and multifaceted talent as a singer, songwriter and musician. Working closely with producers Myles “Losh” Schwartz (Free and Losh) of Incredible Projects and Adam Royce (Captain Cl!ck) of Coalition Music, Muse marks Astha’s first truly Canadian release. Also on the record is Manny, a Toronto native rapper on a couple of tracks and Rohit Shakya (The Author) on the song, Ride. Aesthetically, Astha has been playing with a broad concept to loosely tie the album together: Simplicity is the strongest form of communication.

The idea is to capture complex human emotions in a minimalistic way to create a sonic space of intimacy. There are undertones of jazz and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) and other influence in the form of swing and R&B vocals. These tracks have a high quality of production value, as well as quite a bit of rhythm and groove to them.

She is also collaborating with her mother Susan Maskey, a well-known singer in the Adhunik or Modern music scene in Nepal. She has put melodies to her mom’s words in the past and looks forward to making more music with her as evident in the different forms of YouTube collabs of the mother-daughter duo. According to Astha, she has taken this much needed respite to reinvent, reflect, observe and plan her career forward.

Published: 29-07-2018 08:00

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