By Jai Pradhan
Photo courtesy of Samir Shrestha
On January 8, 2018, Swapnil Sharma from The Shadows took to the band’s official Facebook page and announced that they were coming up with a new album and requested their fans, followers and even haters to suggest them some subjects for their new songs. The 32-year-old singer also announced that the contributors’ names would be printed on album’s cover, provided that their topics would make ways to their songs.
Today, the venture has already advanced into the next phase because the 21-year-old band is ready to enter the Zen Rehearsal & Recording Studios in Sydney and record the songs for their third album.
“We have already composed six songs for the album, the recording of which is expected to be completed within two to three months,” says vocalist Sharma, “As soon as our band members in Australia finalise a studio time, I, along with my other two members, will fly for Sydney.”
The socially-aware and politically-conscious band has always maintained its legacy; and this time too, they’ve concentrated on societal reflections, however, with different perspectives. Like in yesteryears, the band is not projecting direct satires to the civil servants, but this time, they’re reflecting societal problems, evil goings-on, painful real-life incidents, and others with different lens.
‘K Paais Nepali, Kera?’ is a song for those political campaigners who had not left any stone unturned to help their leaders secure high-ranking government positions, but at the end, gained ‘kera’, sarcastically connoting it as ‘nothing’. Similarly, ‘Balatkari Lai Faasi Dey’ is a song that expresses grief over a rape of a 7-years-old girl and vents their anger on the rapists and weak law of the country. Besides, ‘Soon Ko Hatti’ is a politically-conscious song that revolves around the theme of the proverb, “Mero Ghar Ma Soon Ko Hatti Chha”.
While these songs contain strong words, the band is coming up with softer ones too.
“THE SHADOWS IS ENTERING THE ZEN REHEARSAL & RECORDING STUDIOS IN SYDNEY TO RECORD THEIR THIRD ALBUM WHICH REFLECTS SOCIETAL PROBLEMS, EVIL GOINGS-ON, AND REAL-LIFE INCIDENTS.”
‘Aama’ is a song that explains how beautiful we feel our mothers are and how a mother loves and protects her children; while, ‘Mero Desh’ is a melodic acoustic song that talks about their love for their mother nation Nepal. Similarly, ‘Sapana Ko Bhakaari’ is for everyone who is working for their dream.
The Shadows is a band that has continued coping up with their long-distance band’s relationship. Bassist Amit Pradhan—now also associated with his project AK47 Music—still lives in Australia, so is the same with lead guitarist Prakash Rasaily. On the other hand, Sharma stays in Nepal and looks after Purple Haze Rock Bar, Thamel.
The band had also experienced turnover of their band’s members. While Babu BK lives in the US, drummer Bishal Manandhar discontinued being associated with the band. In short, all of them got involved in their own works, chores, priorities, and side projects.
But even when two left the band and others dispersed into different corners, the spirit of togetherness remained the same, and the incoming of Sujan Manandhar on guitars and Sahil Rijal on drums filled the vacuum. As a whole, they adopted a practice of sharing their creativities through online platforms and exchanged creative inputs in form of web files and contributed in the band’s music as well as in their personal projects. Though it consumed a lot of time, the band made it possible. And following these same methodologies, they are finally coming up with their third album.
“Babu is not directly associated with the band, but we didn’t ignore taking his suggestive insights for the upcoming album. He contributed in the making of this album though he is very busy with his own life. After all, he is the devotee of the band,” shares Sharma.
Apart for distant-sharing or exchanging of individual creativities, the band has been doing their best to do something productive whenever they get a chance to meet. Last year and until recently, they not only toured in different cities of Nepal and abroad, but they had also attempted to finish composing their songs.
“We had attempted to complete the album in Australia, but we were granted with visa only for 14 days. We were in total rush for concerts, and there was no time for having rest,” recalls Sharma, and shares, “But we composed the songs when they were in Nepal last time. We invited them at that time; now it’s our turn to go to their place and finish what we had started.”
Like always, the band is serious in recording the album, no matter how expensive their venture is going to be. Sharma says, “We have estimated a budget of Rs 6 lakhs for recording and travelling only. If we’d had planned to record the album in Nepal, Rs 2 lakhs would have been enough. However, we are not compromising,” and adds, “It is not challenging to record the album, but it will be challenging for the band to reach the breakeven point.”
No matter how far these musically-connected musicians are living, their spirit of togetherness is closely intact. And no matter how disconnected their fans are, their upcoming album will surely bring them in a common network. After all, the band is coming up with an album after 10 years.
“FINALLY AFTER 10 YEARS, THE SHADOWS IS COMING UP WITH A NEW ALBUM. THIS TIME, THEY ARE WITH DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES.”