‘Tāl’ proves an interesting EP in that it explores a style of modern pop songwriting with a clear and tangible vein of influence from Indian music, a stylistic intersection not commonly seen.
This junction first presents itself with the artist name and self-titling of the EP ‘Tāl’, which is the name for a system of organising musical metre in Indian music. Tāl is also written on the artwork in Tamil, a south-Indian language.
The composition style on this EP is consistently minimal, with each individual element serving a consequential purpose within the tracks. It’s in the choosing of these elements that the stylistic intersection is most clearly seen. The chord changes, kick drum samples and strong, catchy melodies on What You Are, Lights (Raga Kafi) and A-Part clearly show modern pop sensibilities, while at the same time using tabla tracks and sitar lines.
Lights (Raga Kafi) features melodies based off of Raga Kafi and are incorporated to work over the chords played by the guitar.
The sitar part is filtered, layered, and used tastefully and effectively as part of a drony backdrop.
The synthetic Again steps away from the stylistic intersection yet still fits in with the minimal, ambient theme of the EP and is an effective, tangential send off.