By Taylor Davies
Anjali Rose (formerly Ananda Luna) is an alt-indie music project currently based in Brooklyn, NYC lead by Anjali Rose Kumar. Anjali is a producer, videographer, activist, and musician who rocks the vocal cords, keys, guitar, some hand drums and started playing with Ginger Libations in Western Massachusetts around the early fall of 2016. The band’s various formations include Eli Catlin on drums and bass or guitar, Vishal Arvindam on Guitar, Lydia Ivanovich on tenor Saxophone, Zeke Levigne on bass, Emma Sevigne on drums, and Jake Slater on guitar. In its time The Western Mass ensemble shared its stage with artists like Thanya Iyer, Izzy Coffee, Ada Lea, Viola Deadgowns (or New Spine), and other indie acts. Due to covid and distance, the original crew is no longer performing live together but hopes to preserve the magic of what was through this project.
What’s your story?
I’m from New Jersey, just next to Philadelphia. I almost went to Temple University for grad school for film, but it wasn’t worth the debt at the time. Philly is an amazing city, a lot of rappers I love are Philly natives; the music scene in Philly is so vibrant. I went to school in Western Massachusetts at Smith College. I stayed there for a year to play in a band (the band that created this EP).
I grew up taking piano lessons when I was younger studying classical music but stopped in the Romantic era with Debussy at 18. I took choir in high school which translated to a capella groups in college. I later came out of the closet in college and played in a band, and then was able to embrace the creation of music as a medium to express myself. I was originally learning other people’s music, as you do when you learn an instrument, which is beautiful in itself, but I started to replicate that in my own way with my own sound with composing; it’s very transformative to write something coming from yourself.
What do you hope to convey to people with your music, if anything? Who is your music for?
My music, I think, is for the general public as well as myself. My goal is to be able to touch on some universal experience, understanding of the soul, or something spiritual. In the future, I would love to learn to build soundscapes and tell a concrete story of a universal truth of something like heartbreak, revolution, or just observation.
Marrow – Tracklisting
01. and Grind
02. Rain Interlude
03. Ozone High
04. Nostalgic Interlude
05. Moon knows
06. Last Interlude
07. Splendor Never Ends
Marrow is the creative child of Ginger Libations, an alt-indie jazz, soul, fusion band that’s performed through various formations with Anjali Rose (Brooklyn based lead singer; lyricist, pianist). The band released its debut EP in October and is now gearing up to release the music videos that Anjali produced and edited to accompany the project. “Ozone High” was filmed this past summer with a team of New York-based artists including art director Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer. This particular song reflects the indulgent nature of love and its capacity to destroy.
“Splendor Never Ends” was written by Anjali Kumar, and Ginger Libations members, Eli Caitlin and Emma Sevigne, while preparing for two gigs in Western Massachusetts. The song deals with themes taken from Kumar’s personal experience of transitioning out of college into the working adult world with expectations to satiate the ideals that Kumar grew up within her nuclearized heteronormative half Indian family.
The EP’s first seed was planted at Ghost Hit Records in Western Massachusetts when Anjali won 8 free recording hours during a Battle of the Bands contest. Since then, the EP has been edited, overdubbed, and grown to include nostalgic experiential interludes pieced together with archival phone recordings. The intro to the track Ozone High was self-recorded in quarantine by Anjali, Joseph Borsellino III, and Daniel Gelinas in 3 different cities and mixed by Anjali. The result: jazz-influenced chord progressions, guitar pedals, distorted reality, and nature synchronized with Anjali’s Indian infused, choral-shaped vocals. In the past months, Brooklyn based electronic musician and audio engineer Ben Shirken (Beshken) mastered “Marrow” to its final form you are hearing today.
About the “Ozone High” Music Video:
It was one of those projects where we pieced it together as we went. Emma, our director, had a loose plan before we shot, but we navigated multiple visions from multiple people to create a collective vision. The song itself talks about tying the concepts of mass consumption, escapism, and indulgence, and how they interact with each other. We, as humans, have created this chaos ourselves, the issue being climate change. Emma had the idea of using night and day as a dance to represent how love is a destructive force. We began shooting in the early morning, before sunrise and ended in broad daylight symbolizing how the ozone layer has deteriorated.
Do you consider “Ozone High” to be protest art?
Yes and no – I see it as an observation of what’s happening around us. I lived in Brooklyn before the pandemic and moved home once lockdown officially started. I eventually returned to Brooklyn after the death of George Floyd was inspired to write. I met the collaborators for the video, and when they heard the song they wanted to make a music video for it.
Behind the Lyrics:
Will get you
Into sublime sequestered
Carbon the night until
The smog obliterates us
Ozone high is the high you get from indulgence. I’m a huge stoner, so it’s also reflecting on that relationship of substance and inhalation, and the escapism that follows. The ozone high will sequester you into complacency, just as it affects humans with climate change. The sun absorbs the night.
Is it to
Swallow the night
And leave the
Others to sign
So we can fuck till the mornings undone
These lines speak about feeling helpless in political action. Not having to think about these situations leads to letting people decide things for you; for example, not voting.
Will get you
Will set your
Blood cells on fire until your
Body is riding the sun
This reiterates what was previously mentioned. Sex, vice, and pleasure can be escape tactics for many people; it can become an addiction.
Wrong turns colonizing
Lips burnt synchronizing
Fake news coinciding
With blue lights a blinding
Them two sides a finding
This reflects on the Trump administration. Any time I reference the color orange it refers to him because I don’t like saying his name or giving him attention. It also reflects on the two-party system – no matter which side you’re on, it’s still oppressing.
“Ozone High” Music Video