Kathmandu: The Before Times were the halcyon days for Nepali rock with the scene witnessing the introduction of a range of experimental bands with refreshing musical sensibilities.
While bands are formed aplenty in Nepal, they get disbanded just as quickly. Sustaining oneself just playing music is still a Herculean task. Whatever progress there had been for the professionalization of Nepali music scene has now been set back by the globe-encompassing scourge of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is then especially important today that we support Nepali bands. It is not that they do not stand on their own merits, however. Here is a list of bands, playing genres from soft-rock to prog metal, that have forged new grounds on the music scene. We recommend that you check them out.
Pahenlo Batti Muni
Experimental rock band ‘Pahenlo Batti Muni’ was formed in 2015. Their first song, Bari Lai, which was released in 2016, features soft acoustic music with powerful lyrics. It depicts the agony of a person whose voice goes unheard despite trying a lot.
The band released its first album, Asthir, in 2019. The album features songs such as Tatepate Bhitta, Bichitra, and Lori that have impressed listeners.
The band’s lineup includes Rochak Dahal on Vocals, Pravesh Thapa Magar on guitar, Luv Jung Chhetri on percussion, and Kush KC on bass guitar.
The songs by ‘The Elements’ are easy on the ears. The soft rock acoustic band, which was formed in 2016, debuted with the song Tesailey Hidey Ma, in 2018. It is a philosophical song about a carefree journey that a band took to enjoy life.
Their songs include messages about various pertinent subjects. Plastic ko Manchey, for instance, is about the duality of human existence in our tech-driven era. Another song, Baru ma Haschu, describes a world through a dog’s lens.
The band has three members—Dipesh Gurung on the percussion, Raunaq Singh Adhikari on the guitar, and Ishan Raj Onta on the vocals.
‘Kamero’ is progressive metal/ rock band; they are perhaps the pioneers of the genre in Nepal. Their music is highly influenced by the American prog metal outfit ‘Tool’. The time signatures, lyrics and many other elements of their songs give the vibe similar to listening to any other Tool number.
Kamero’s music videos for the songs ‘Pragmatic Delusions’ and ‘Nepenthe(s)’ are unique. The visuals prove that music videos in Nepal are evolving and tell stories rather than just featuring lovebirds dancing to the wind in Chobhar high.
Kamero was formed in 2014, and their first album Absence Paradox was released in 2018. It comprises songs like Pragmatic Delusions, Sanchhyov (Chhennam), and Freudian Slip.
Chakachak is a Nu-metal/Rap-Hardrock band which was formed in early 2018. The band made their debut with the song ‘Sabda’. Its music video shows how a society snatches away a person’s freedom by creating obstacles on their highway to achieve dreams.
The band released their self-titled first album in 2019, featuring numbers like Netapal, Wake Up, and Damadol.
Its current lineup includes Biraj Singh Thapa on guitars, Bikrant Singh Thapa on drums, Ashutosh ‘Multi’ Pandey on vocals, Sabeen Shrestha on bass and DJ Vital on turntables.
Jhilkey and the Company (JATC)
If you want to headbang right now then listening to Jhilkey and the Company can be the best option.
JATC is a rock band but their songs comprise a blend of punk, ska and alternative rock. The band was formed in 2017 and their debut EP, Jhilkey Fire, was released last year. The EP includes songs like Malai Kei Audaina, Nilo Suitcase, Panchiharu and Jhilkey Fire.
The band’s lineup includes Bishal Hang Rai on the bass, Dipson Narsingh KC behind drums, and Steve Dewan on the lead guitar and frontman.