Sometimes you have to wait for things to come naturally into your life. This is certainly true of the relationship that Nandan Gautam has had with music. This Baku, Azerbaijan based composer had always been driven to try to make music but his attempts as a younger man didn’t bring him the results or happiness he expected to find there and so he pursued alternative creative outlets instead.
Twenty Years later, now an author and renowned yoga exponent, a spiritual awakening showed him a new way to approach the art form and this time a freer mind and a change in attitude provided him with the right approach to make the sophisticated jazz and pop infused music that he had always envisaged.
But The King of The Sea takes in much more than those two genres, it also creates a few of its own along the way. It is an album of drifting moods and gentle connections but it also has beat and energy, it is swathed in rich textures and intricate musical motifs, mixes the accessible with the exotic, the earthly with the ethereal.
Tracks such as I Will Be Free and Ship of Desires neatly underline his yogic inclinations but this is certainly not merely some sort of washy, new age soundtrack and their ambient nature is balanced by the blend of jazz-rock and dreamlike musical spires that is You Escape Yourself, the pop driven Hold On To Your Sails and at the Vangelisian drama of The Book of Sirius.
It is a wonderfully eclectic album but one where the tracks still sit easily side by side as western pop and rock are subsumed by eastern spirituality and shimmering beauty. And for all its mercurial and wide ranging references it has a wonderfully cohesive sound one that feels natural, unforced, organic. Perhaps it isn’t an album that Nandam Gautam couldn’t have made as the younger man, when he was perhaps trying too hard. This is the sound of a musician allowing the music to come to him rather than searching it out. Perhaps two decades is worth the wait for him to make such a fantastic and singular record. Actually, there is no perhaps about it.