Goldspot are set to release a new album, Aerogramme on August 20th. Produced by singer/songwriter Siddhartha Khosla and Beach Boys’ engineer Jeff Peters (some of the album’s tracks were recorded in the home studio of one of the Beach Boys) and mixed by Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Weezer), Aerogramme marks the outfit’s third full-length release.
Khosla released his first album in 2007 under said moniker to an enthusiastic audience both stateside and abroad.
The record, Tally Of The Yes Men, was almost instantly championed by a handful of tastemakers with no ulterior motives aside from introducing its palpable goodness to a waiting world— Nic Harcourt, (then at KCRW, who continue to support the band), for one, among others. Before we knew it, equally kind words followed suit in such publications as Q, The Sunday Times (UK), The Guardian (also, UK, where an alternate version of the record was made which included A.R. Rahman’s Bollywood Orchestra), NPR (here) and much more. In fact, the album’s single “It’s Getting Old,” was the second most downloaded iTunes single of the week ever, the album made several Top 10 of 2007 lists and Goldspot went on to share stages with the likes of Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab For Cutie, and Bjork.
The second recording, And The Elephant Is Dancing, garnered similar acclaim, the LOS ANGELES TIMES offering, “A classic and timeless gem. It’s as if George Harrison never left India,” and NPR’s TELL ME MOREdescribing “An inventive sound and independent vision.” The album also commanded a sizable portfolio of TV and film placements, including love from the hit U.S television series, How I Met Your Mother, NBC series,Perfect Couples, and a trailer for the 2011 film The Dilemma with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Connelly, among other spots.
Aerogramme marks a turning point in the Goldspot canon, indeed offering more of Khosla’s inspired and embraceable songwriting, but a more personal narrative emerges as the author looks back on his own family history and his parents’ immigrant experience. In essence, this record has been brewing in Khosla’s mind since he was a child.
Although 4 songs into Aerogramme’s track listing, “New Haven Green” is a suitable springboard for Khosla’s revisitation- “Tell me the story again,” is the refrain and it’s about his family’s arrival onto these shores- his parents, poor and displaced, hoping, working towards a new and full life in America. But, prosperity would come slowly as the difficulty of making a living would force the young couple to send their toddler son back to India where he would spend the remainder of his early childhood while his parents created a proper path for him.
“Abyss,” spotlighted right now on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S MUSIC MIX BLOG (Check out the link in the header) sets Aerogramme’s tone with a hypnotic ramble and beautiful melody, beckoning us, “Back to the start,” while “The Border Line,” whose iTunes link is featured in the same EW post, captures the album’s essence evoking that feeling we all share, immigrants and natives alike, of being somewhere new, out of our element, and not really knowing where or how we fit in: “The tide brought me here/I called it home/a place I’ve never known/It seems I’m caught between the moving plates beneath my feet…”
“If the Hudson Overflows,” recently featured on the hit CBS show How I Met Your Mother as part of the band’s effort to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy, (“Rewind” was featured in an earlier season of the same show), brings Khosla’s current life in New York City into focus.
The narrative comes across eloquently, which is as much a testimony to Khosla’s musical history as it is to his inspiration for this album. As informed by old Bollywood singers as he was by the likes of The Smiths, The Cure, The Beatles and Paul Simon, and other Western influences, his songs now embody a cross-cultural appeal. Goldspot’s instrumentation from traditional Indian instruments like the harmonium, to the Greek bouzouki, to 80’s omnichord synthesizers – is engagingly unique, while the guitar, bass, drums, et al center the music’s power.
Aerogramme is Khosla reliving those memories of being apart from his parents. His longings and their struggles have been transformed through music into poignant songs of love, loss, and redemption.