Treble Clef Back with Their Banger New Single

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By Mannu Shahi

Formed in 2016, Treble Clef is a Damak based progressive rock trio led by guitarist and singer Asish Manpahang Rai. Influenced by international acts such as The Aristocrats, Karnivool, The Pineapple Thief, Uchu Conbini etc. the trio is amidst a handful successful bands to create such experimentally driven work from the eastern regions of Nepal. 

With a series of line-up changes over the years, the present stack of members comprise Asish on vocals and guitars, Aswin Bhattarai on bass and Jay Ram Karki on drums. Some of the group's past band members include: Sabin Shrestha (drums), Dipen Rai (bass), Sudip Tamang (bass), Sandesh Gurung (drums) and Niroj Sundas (drums).    

The trio debuted in the scene with their 2017’s math/post-rock single ‘Life’, however, alongside Jay Ram on drums the song also featured collaborators Manjil Deuja on bass and prominent musical wizard Pawan Tandukar on piano. The instrumental flaunting Asish’s ingenious guitar skills and complementing arrangement cemented Treble Clef as a promising new project. The same clique released another single a year later titled ‘Sanidhya’, with Asish joining in on vocal duties as well. 

In June of 2018 the band released their third single ‘Anyolta’, trying out heavier riffs and louder dynamic swells, the eight minute long song was more apparently leaning towards progressive arrangement structures. ‘Samip’ was their fourth single premiering in 2021, after a short halt on publishing back to back, the song was a contrast to its predecessor. The slow and minimal composition highlighting the freedom of self-acceptance and being in alignment with the self was a pleasant listen especially right post-pandemic. 

Around the same period the band established a separate YouTube channel for Treble Clef official, and since last year have started posting their material from this handle. Gathering some of their older and new tunes together the band published two of their EPs: five-tracks “Anyolta” and six-tracks “Sanidya”, both a day apart from each other on January of 2023.

And recently on February 6, 2024 the trio released their new single ‘Soch’ and further unleashed announcements of the upcoming third album, the song is a presentation of Damak Music Circle (DMC), with Pineal Studio on audio production, Sound Fusion Studio on recording. The simple yet effective video is directed by Abishkar Joshi, with Rhythm Rai on DOP, Gaurav Bista on editing and coloring, Avhisekh Giri as the production manager.  

The band describes the song as, “A deep dive into exploring one’s illusions, challenging the dormant aspects of the mind. Ultimately, reflecting on the idea that we share a common divinity, akin to being demons, from the same divine source and ashes of a shared heritage. Beyond the veils of delusions and uncertainties lies a transformative journey towards 

heightened consciousness.” 

The song commences with the sound of a heartbeat and right after a sludgy odd meter pattern intro ensues, confident and in your face. Flowy guitar resolve cuts through the intro to pave way for the verse, gradual dynamic ascend in the pre-chorus with ornamenting drum fills and guitar lines. The chorus is the peak dynamic point in the song, employing a similar pattern like the intro. 

The post-chorus break exhibits impressive chops from all three instrumentalists and an alteration of different patterns. The following section could be addressed as the bridge or even a second verse. Which leads the arrangement to the pre-chorus and ends the expedition high on the chorus. A recommended listen indeed!


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