THE RISHIS – AUGUST MOON
A Spill Exclusive Album Premiere
The Rishis are an Atlanta / Athens supergroup that started out as a duo of songwriting partners Ranjan Avasthi and Sofie Lute. Over the last few years the group has expanded to some of their friends who are part of the Elephant 6 Collective including Scott Spillane (Gerbils, Neutral Milk Hotel), Peter Alvanos (Sunshine Fix, Elf Power, Casper & the Cookies), Lucy Calhoun (Black Swan Network), John Fernandes (Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System), and Max Schneider (son of Robert Scnheider of the Apples in stereo). Their debut album August Moon was nearly a decade in the making and soon after Robert Schneider heard it he instantly offered to have the band put the Elephant 6 logo on the album and become an official part of the collective. The Rishis are the first band to be added to the collective in well over a decade. The album also features guest appearances by Andy Gonzales (of Montreal, Marshmallow Coast, Musictapes), James Huggins (of Montreal, Elf Power, James Husband), Todd Kelly (Great Lakes, Phosphorescent), and Andrew Reiger (Elf Power). August Moon is an album of acceptance, an album of healing, an album that is a nice hug from a long time friend. You can get the album on vinyl via the band on bandcamp or through Cloud Recordings. It’s also available to download and stream on most major digital platforms.
August Moon Track By Track:
Holiday – was written to take the listener on a trip of sorts through the Caribbean where Ranjan Avasthi lived for a couple of years on the island of St Maarten, a former island of the Netherland Antilles. Sentiments of the symbiotic relationship humans have with plants that soak up energy and then provide nutrient building blocks to the consumer permeate throughout the song. Culminating in a plea to stop and slow down and take some time to relax by the seaside.
Migrations– tells the story of reincarnation and elevating the soul away from the very fabric of one’s DNA in the process of rebirth in distant lands. Then to be brought back to India where funeral pyres are shrouded in white and sailed down the Varanasi River.
Oh So Young is about our school holidays when we would count how long we had for summer break. It tells of watching barrier islands, from high above in aeroplanes, as the islands unfurled into the sea like huge green tongues from some mighty dragon. It also speaks of love that transcends time and space into the very essence of the soul.
Seeds was conceptualized as a song warning of the perils of imperialism. It is about a samurai fisherman on a Japanese island who is loved by a Geisha. And as their love is about to be consummated a great storm arises and they fall back on their little boat pleading to their ancestors for safety.
Make Me Love sung by Sofie Lute speaks of a lover who believes her partner has become jaded in their relationship. She laments on their love and time spent together and how she needs this love like air itself.
Wake Up is a song about how neurofibrillary tangles grow like greedy trophoblasts as they take over the brains of people battling dementia. It tells how folks suffering from dementia are almost as if they have fallen asleep at the wheel. In contrast it also gives hope to the children who have fresh starts and who always speak their minds and know all the possibilities that children believe in.
Just Between You and Me sings the anthem of disaffected youth waking up to find all the foretold opportunities of previous generations are no longer possible due to poor planning and carelessness by ones who came before.
Holi was inspired by the Stone Roses and tells of waiting tables for tips, young love, and even despair when things end and run its course. Holi is named after the Indian holiday when people douse each other with water colors in a chaotic festival denoting spring and fertility.
Jetstream is about laying back on Spring days and watching the sky bring thick floating clouds slowly past. Slowing down to breathe in the sweet smells of blooming flowers and fluttering dandelion seeds.
Uttar Pradesh is an instrumental tune inspired by Indian ragas and is a tip of the hat to Ranjan Avasthi’s ancestral roots in Kannauj, U.P.
Lay back and let the gentle waves of the rishis wash over you.
(Cloud Recordings/Elephant 6)
Release Date: April 21, 2023
August Moon Track Listing
3. Oh So Young
5. Make Me Love You
6. Wake Up
7. Just Between You and Me
10. Uthar Pradesh