I’ll say it right off the bat: Run It’s The Kid’s eponymous album is strong, musically. For the uninitiated, they are a four piece acoustic band from Delhi who have been playing shows since 2013 but released their debut album on leap day this year. Comprised of Shantanu Pandit (who also has a solo project) on vocals and guitar, drummer Bhairav Gupta (who also plays with NJ and the WitWoulds, Gravy Train and other session work), bassist Danik Ghosh (who also plays with Post Office, Back 2 da Basics, Prabhtoj Singh and other session work) and Dhruv Bhola (who also plays with Prateek Kuhad, Takar Nabam, Back 2 da Basics and other session work) on keyboards and vocals, the band has previously been described as part moody, part waltz and hundred percent soul.
This album rushes by like a wistful dream on a summer night. Built around Pandit’s soft, melancholic voice and simple, metaphor heavy-lyrics, Run It’s The Kid features some very tasteful musical arrangement and a rich, breezy sound. Restrained and effective drumming, a refined bass element, and not to mention some delicious harmonies together bring an understated charm to the album. Most tracks are a variation on the ¾ waltz. While they are a self-professed waltz outfit, I definitely heard some folk elements in there, which I would love to see them explore further, in the future.
Songwriting duties are helmed by Pandit and occasionally Bhola. The lyrics don’t follow a fixed verse – chorus structure: in fact, most of them read like poetry, the words lending themselves remarkably well to the music. On ‘Love We’re Made from Porcelain‘, Pandit croons in his rather oddball accent,“Love, love, what have you/done to me?//You locked me in and then/Swallowed the key”
Themes vary from poignant reflections on heartbreak, and falling in and out of love, to exploration of one’s identity and how it ought to turn out. It’s a complete, cohesive album that is connected just enough for it all to make perfect sense. Kudos to Miti Adhikari for clean, minimalist production.
A good track on its own, ‘The Big Parachute’ seems like the weakest link on this album. Some highlights include the mellow opening track ‘Forgetting How to Swim’ and the folksy, melody-led ‘One Time’ (which is partly reminiscent of the Fleet Foxes). The refreshing ‘Souls to Save’ stands out, with all its layers, lush percussion and overall instrumentation. ‘To the Moon’ is a song that brings it all together with its imagery, and its glorious climax.
Would I recommend Run It’s The Kid to a friend? Of course, I already have!
–Review by Soumya Jayanti