|6||alone, all one||4:02|
Already in its title, Plume Girl’s debut thoroughly lets things go and takes them in – all at once. “In the End We Begin” is the first solo full-length from Sowmya Somanath, a Hindustani classical singer/composer and half of alt-pop duo Felt Out. Plume Girl’s music takes inspiration from the semi-regular musical form of the rāga (translated as ‘tinting’), invoking mood and atmosphere, each rāga thought to have its own distinct nature and personality, brought to life through improvisation. String swells and Somanath’s searching vocalisations envelop every track’s own blissful chamber. Exploring imagined binaries along the way — eastern vs. western, traditional vs. experimental, acoustic vs. electronic, Sowmya sees music as a curious dialogue between divine Self and an invisible reality. Beneath the illusion of a chromatic world, there remains a blissful oneness.
Plume Girl’s songs sit between ambient Hindustani music and emotionally-encumbered pop. In front of backdrops comprising sundrenched drones or glitches, sketched out beats, and criss-crossing glissandi or flutes, Somanath both murmurs intimately and spirals upwards into soaring choruses. The lyrics ponder innermost thoughts, never more literally than on the blissful emo folk closing track: ‘In my heart I know / what’s in my heart / I know what’s in my…’
“When I began writing this music, I was fresh off of an experience that completely twisted my reality,” explains Somanath. It was the end of a years-long relationship, and the blossoming of a long-buried love hidden in plain sight: “a best friend of a decade, my musical partner, someone who had always seen me completely…At once, I felt grief and loss. At once, excitement and love.”