Play It By Ear is an indie rock band based from India. After meeting in college and years playing in the same and different bands later, we decided to put all our songs inspired by various indie and acoustic genres into a new avatar. After a year of gigging, accompanied by three competition wins, including the Songdew All India Renault ‘Free The Music’ competition in April 2015, we decided to go professional. We started out as an acoustic duo, but are now a full band.
In 2017, we were selected by Abbey Road Studios London as the winners of their All India Mixing and Mastering Competition. We have been interviewed by two of India’s most popular radio stations, All India Radio and Radio One, and featured in international publications like the Scribbler, Niji Magazine, and Soundsphere.
Our newest album, Press Play, was released in April 2019, and is available across all streaming platforms. Our first video single from it – Smile – is up on YouTube. We released our first EP – Listen – in June 2015. We released our first video single, ‘Listen’, in January, 2016 and then our first full album – Flicker Flicker Flash – in March 2016 (listen to it HERE). We released our second video single, ‘Everyone’, in December 2017. Apart from gigs in Delhi, Bombay, and Bangalore, we have also played at IIT Kharagpur, the BC Festival, The World Music Day Festival, and the Delhi Contemporary Arts Festival.
What inspires you to make music?
Influenced by artists like Simon and Garfunkel, the Dave Matthews Band, and O.A.R, our music has been described as melodious yet bittersweet; harmonic acoustic driven rock that blends heart-warming riffs with introspective lyrics. Our focus is on new forms of musical expression while staying true to the roots of the deep and lasting friendship that brought the band together.
Tell us about this project?
Press Play was recorded at Lotus Tree Studios, produced by M Krishna Rao, and mastered by Nagasaki Sound. It’s an easy listening indie rock album, musically influenced by bands like OAR and Dispatch, lyrically by singer/songwriters like Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, and Newton Faulkner. While there’s no specific theme to it as such, we draw our inspiration from themes everyone deals with, about love, life, and loss, and we hope people will respond to it both as an overall piece of work as well as to individual songs that connect with them. Each song deals with different themes and issues, like depression, love, religion, and chasing your dreams.
1. Mr Man: This is a happy sounding song that’s about dealing with depression. Life can be hard and very grey sometimes, and we’ve tried to capture that in the lyrics while countering it with an upbeat feel to the music.
2. Great Big Being: This song tries to question, in a non offensive way, the existence of God and heaven. It started out a lot faster, but we decided a reggae feel suited it more.
3. Honey: A simple country song written for all the couples, happy and unhappy, out there.
4. Smile: This song is dedicated to the memory of all the young kids who lost their lives trying to do train stunts on Mumbai local trains. Our vocalist, Martin, lost a friend like that, and wrote this song to his memory, as well as to try and process his feelings about it.
5. Heaven Denied: The narrator of this song is a very religious man talking to his God. He’s beginning to question his faith, and whether he’s been making the right choices all his life. This song also has distinctly grunge influences.
6. Won’t Be Waiting: A up tempo, out and out indie rock song that encourages you to chase your dreams, however far fetched or unachievable they may seem at first. Put your hand up, dig deep into your heart and soul, say you won’t wait, and go for it! While the song revolves around relationships, it has a broader theme to it.
Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
The band members all have different musical inspirations. Our singer loves country music and old school rock, like the Beatles, Elvis, and John Denver, while our guitarist is a huge indie fan, particularly influenced by the likes of The Strokes, OAR, Dispatch, and Cake. Our bassist loves grunge, and counts Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam among his biggest influences, while our drummer is big into jazz of all types.
Are You Working On Any New Projects?
We’ve already started work on our next album, which we plan to release next year. We have around 10 complete songs, and we plan on spending the next six months or so refining and polishing them, and then we head back into the studio in early 2020!
How long have you been creating music?
As a band, for the last 5 years. Individually our musical roots vary, but all of us have been involved in music for the last decade or so.
Do you want to say anything to the people who support your music?
Just a simple but heartfelt thank you! Our fans inspire us and drive us to become better musicians, but most importantly, they make every live show a blast! There’s probably no better feeling in the world than having a lot of people jump around, dance, clap, sing along, and just generally enjoy themselves while we play.
Indie Rock Band Play It By Ear just released a new single titled, “Smile.” One thing you can expect from Play It By Ear is a smooth and catchy beat with powerful lyrics. This song takes you on a journey from beginning to end and the smooth vocals of the lead singer fit perfectly with the band. This simple but smooth beat has an amazing build up and ends with a climax that you are guaranteed to enjoy. “Smile” is a feel good song that captures your emotions and brings a smile to your face. The story behind this song is highly reliable and will emotionally connect with viewers across the world. This is a catchy tune that was well written and produced, I really enjoyed “Smile” by Play It By Ear.