2020 was the year that Yatin Srivastava Project was going to go in to record their sophomore album, the follow up to their debut album ‘Chaos // Despair’, which was released in 2018 to high praise around the world. With everything set and ready to go, all plans came to an unceremonious halt with the worldwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus in March. Left with nothing to do, Yatin decided to bring together a few friends and have some fun! Thus was born, the YSP & Friends Project.
Over 2020, the project saw two releases namely, ‘ikigai’ featuring Lakshaya Grover and Suyash Gabriel (Kraken, INALAB, Komorebi, etc) and ‘Breathe’ featuring Aritra Basu (Letters, Jatin Talukdar Project, etc) and Shagun Trisal (ex-Kraken, Trisalien). Released along with a music video and Playthrough’s for each song, it provided a much more visual representation of the project, something that had been lacking before. It showcased that even in times of peril and distance, musicians and friends can come together to make fun, honest music that would make them happy and would make the listeners happy too. After these two tracks, 22nd of January saw the release of the last song from the project called ‘Disengage’, marking the release of the ‘Quarantine Vol.1′ EP, on the same date.
In the end, featuring one Instrumental song and two mid-length songs with an array of musical tones and dynamics, the EP is definitely an evolution from one song to the next. ‘ikigai’ provides a wonderful introduction with the monstrous Drums of Suyash Gabriel and the comforting lows of Lakshaya Grover’s Bass playing, with the song expanding into an Instrumental Progressive Rock anthem of sorts, accompanied by some group vocals in the background. The next evolution, ‘Breathe’ introduces a more contemporary approach to songwriting, featuring a very pop-like structure, giving enough room for Aritra Basu and Shagun Trisal to do their magic, until the breakdown hits right at the end and foreshadows the natural conclusion of the EP that comes with the powerhouse of Disengage, ending the EP with a roar of emotion and musical prowess due to the stellar performance of Yusuf and Daud Ramay from the quickly rising Progressive Metal band from Pakistan ‘Takatak’, along with the song also featuring Screaming/Growling vocals for the first time on a YSP track.
The YSP & Friends project came about in a very casual manner to fill up the time before the next YSP full-length album is ready – and if this is any indication into what fans could expect from the next outing from the New Delhi based Musician, they will be very intrigued to see what happens next.