Free Spirit II By Ashesh And Nekhvam

Music Issue 99 Jul, 2010
Text by Eliz Manandhar

Following the success of its album ‘Free Spirit’, Nekhvam, the only true and dedicated blues-rock band that has been rocking the country for more than a decade now, has come up with ‘Free Spirit II’. Ashesh and Nekhvam is one of the most celebrated bands in Nepal and is especially known for its live performances in which Ashesh Dangol, lead guitarist and singer in the band, wows audiences with his Hendrix-inspired-yet-fresh sounds. ‘Free Spirit II’ has elements of Hendrix as is expected, but there is also a Nepali pop tenor to it. The album features tracks in both the Nepali and English languages.  The first track of the album, ‘Tiputipulagchha’, is a love song. Ashesh sings about how he wants to pluck a rose but is afraid of its thorns. But when he eyes his lover’s photograph, he is ready to pluck the rose despite all the difficulties and fears he might have to face. ‘Timilai ma ke Bhanu’ is another love song in which Ashesh is entranced by his lover, and whilst the clouds burst a torrential outpour and the sun sets grimly, he remains fixated. In ‘Bahula’ (Mad), the short catchy lyrics accompany the tight musical section perfectly as the protagonist sings of madness. ‘Sunnusnasunaunusna’ is a plea from the protagonist to a friend to listen to him, understand him, to laugh and to walk with him while something strange is happening within himself. The next four tracks are in English; the first being the bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll number ‘Boogie Shoes’, which has simple rock ‘n’ roll lyrics in which Ashesh just wants to ‘jump, twist and shout’. Yes, very Beatlesque. ‘Come and Hold Me Tight’ is another rock ‘n’ roll number where Ashesh sings of ‘Rolling, like a football. Thirsty, hitted by your beauty’. The final two tracks are equally interesting. With Ashesh Dangol on the guitar and vocals, Sibesh Dangol on bass and Binay Shrestha on drums, ‘Free Spirit II’ is another well made album and a huge leap for Nekhvam, which is a Newari term for ‘Music Lover’. And yes, they are indeed lovers of music as is proven by the superb compositions in this album.