Recommended Listening: Rachika Nayar - fragments
The Trembling of Glass opens Rachika Nayar's fantastic debut, Our Hands Against the Dusk, an album which we adored and highlighted back in February. For the first two minutes of that track, Nayar builds layers of piano, feedback, and static until the wall suddenly falls away at 2:06. Clean guitar plucks emerge, and this new melody is given additional dimension with bit of background texture and a trebly arpeggio. It is a supremely gorgeous moment, rivaled only by the piano send-off on No Future at the album's close. Across her debut, Nayar experimented with various effects, and expertly warped tracks in new and interesting ways. But on her upcoming fragments EP, Nayar revisits that moment of calm at 2:06, expanding loops she only alluded to last spring.
Nayar in her apartment. Photo provided by the artist and Commend + RVNG Intl.
Nayar's new EP is very much a companion piece to Our Hands Against the Dusk, and the chosen title, fragments, describes just what you'll hear. 11 short guitar-based loops make up the release, each major-key splash of sound defined by crisp, virtuosic picking. Some of these pieces served as sketches for future songs, but whether an idea was refined at a later date or not, these loops helped Nayar stay musically sharp and emotionally centered during lockdown. We all found comfort where we could during that early pandemic blur, and as Nayar spent day after day in her NYC apartment, she leaned into these circular constructions.
Lead single, clarity, is a favorite, and like a number of the EP's other vignettes, this track picks up abruptly, mid-loop, and spirals upward with stringed accompaniment. Check out the video below. Later on, parking lots is a side B highlight - one of only melodies tinged with a shade of melancholy. Then notes of a crocodile, two tracks later, shoots skyward in 3/4 time like a familiar post rock classic. There are just so many moments to love on fragments, and it's an honor to hear Nayar working this unique time, space, and format.
You can find fragments for preorder on Nayar's Bandcamp page linked here, released fully by Commend and RVNG Intl. on August 13th. It's rare to get two shout-outs on DC in a year, so trust us: this EP is worth hearing, and Nayar is a special artist definitely worth following. We can't wait to see where she goes next.