Kaleidoscopic Surf Pop From India’s East Coast Out Now
The F16s Announce New EP Is It Time to Eat the Rich Yet? with Vibrant and Dreamy Single “I’m On Holiday.”
The F16s have been dominating India’s music scene for over a decade, developing their own unique brand of eccentric and danceable alt-pop. Deemed an “artist to watch” by Rolling Stone early in their career, The F16s have held up to the high expectations, becoming a mainstay at major festivals and venues across the country.
After two EP’s and a full-length, the four-piece return in 2021 with their EP ‘Is It Time To Eat The Rich Yet?’ and lead single ‘I’m On Holiday’, out August 11th via House Arrest. The project is a paradoxically joyful celebration of the human condition under duress, scored by some of the finest pop music India has to offer.
“I’m On Holiday” kicks off the EP with grooving guitar melodies and dreamy nostalgic synths, forming a vibrant and rich psychedelic aesthetic upon which perch Josh Fernandez’s smooth, captivating vocals. The lyrics explore the effect of isolation we all experienced over the past year, losing your sense of time and perspective on reality, but with The F16s signature lyrical wit, “I’m On Holiday Forever…” The perfect track for a lazy summer afternoon, “I’m On Holiday” is a truly memorable and wholly unique indie-pop gem.
Following up from their WKND FRNDS EP in 2019, Is It Time to Eat the Rich Yet? looks to take The F16s to the furthest reaches of their influences. When the world was in lockdown the group holed up to write and record their EP, moving in together and bringing Harshan Radhakrishnan’s studio with them.
Starting each day of the EP’s production, listening to Frank Sinatra and classic jazz tracks is an influence that shines through in the nostalgic groove and skillful brass arrangements on songs like “Trouble In Paradise” and “The Apocalypse.” Throughout the day the four would listen to a varied mix of genres from psych-rock to post-punk to trap music, with artists like Vince Staples and The Strokes on repeat, accounting for the diverse eclecticism of the record.
Although at its core, this EP is a feat of escapism – it reflects the fact that we can no longer remain oblivious to the social, environmental, and political injustices that plague our society. The F16s see 2020 as a year for the “awakening of the oppressed,” especially in their home country of India where the pandemic magnified the stark inequalities between the oppressed working classes and the greed, negligence, and rash decisions of those higher up. The “swimming pool and a yacht” reality of their previous EP, WKND FRNDS, has been completely shattered.
Speaking about the single, the band said,
“Of all the factors on earth that could separate romance and lovers from each other, no one expected it to be a lockdown/quarantine. A song written in the hope to muster up the courage and perseverance to see each other again and the desperation of holding on to a relationship crumbling from detachment and an intangible lover.
“So jumping on board the lockdown anthems that every artist decided to serenade about seemed apt. Our’s is just a little rosier and with a prophecy that the lockdown will never be lifted thus on holiday, forever.”
“I’m On Holiday” is the first single from The F16s upcoming EP Is It Time to Eat the Rich Yet?, set for release on October 22.
For over ten years, Chennai-based four-piece, The F16s, have been churning towards an ongoing refinement of their vision. Over the course of doing so, their audience has grown, reflecting a maturity of execution. Their forthcoming release, “Is It Time To Eat The Rich Yet?”, was borne of an extended iteration of this evolution as authored from an observer’s distant stare, one forged on intimately experiencing how a global pandemic needlessly compromised not only the lives of millions here in India but more personally their own.
Through extended periods of economic uncertainty and a corresponding focus to develop their craft, this music explores alienation with lyrical wit intact – “dancing to our doom” as one member frames it – via sonics that pull listeners in almost by the juxtaposition of the sentiment. This is a joyful celebration of the human condition under duress, scored by some of the finest pop music this country has on offer.