Genre-blurring NYC artist Joshua Crumbly has shared a new video for his nostalgic and moody track “Kolkata.” Crumbly first shared “Kolkata” on his sophomore full-length, ForEver, which he released last month.
Crumbly’s gift lies in emotionally evocative and masterful bass guitar. He made his debut at age 10, performing with his saxophonist father, and eventually pursued his passion at Julliard. His unique style has led him to record and tour with everyone from Leon Bridges to Kamasi Washington. He performed alongside Bob Dylan in Dylan’s 2021 concert film, Shadow Kingdom. He released his debut solo album, Rise, in 2020.
The windswept video for “Kolkata” features crumbly as a cowboy wandering a dusty open road. Carefully stepping along the dotted yellow line, Crumbly walks towards a hazy mountain range in the distance. As the camera approaches him slowly from behind, he sets down his guitar case, removed his hat, and turns to face the audience.
Crumbly is half African-American and half Indian-American, and frequently visits his mother’s family in Kolkata. It was there he experienced something beautiful while looking over the city, sparking the inspiration for “Kolkata.”
“It was a blissful moment filled with gratitude and optimism,” Crumbly said. “I didn’t bring any instruments with me on this trip but I did have my laptop computer to sonically document this moment I was grateful to have experienced.”
Featuring guests like Shahzad Ismaily, Sam Gendel, and Jay Bellerose, ForEver has received praise from outlets like Hypebeast and Under the Radar. NPR Music highlighted the record on their New Music Friday podcast.
The album’s haunting 11 tracks never hit you over the head with their meaning. But Crumbly’s ability to evoke nostalgia and deja vu through a simple, wavering bassline keeps you mesmerized. In ForEver’s lo-fi environment, each song blends into the next while still setting a unique scene. “Family” is heartbreakingly simple and bittersweet, while “C.S.C.” with Jay Bellerose builds on an ominous, hazy funk. Title track and standout “ForEver” takes hints from midwest emo, but remains hauntingly spare throughout. The soft, undulating melody worms its way into your brain and stays.
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