Singer-composer and artist Amrit Mohan‘s indie, alternative project Mocaine, has dropped a new album on October 1, 2021. The concept album is accompanied by a 13,000-word novella of the same name (released on the same day) and is to be followed by a short film. Together, they will form the first part of the Billy Munro universe, a man furiously traveling through Southern America disheartened over the death of his newly wed wife.
Mocaine‘s debut concept record features eleven tracks that mark notable moments in the first part of Billy Munro’s story. “The Birth of Billy Munro” is reminiscent of the Seattle sound of the ’90s and the white-boy blues, making the music heavy, groovy yet nostalgic. Whether you’re reading the book or listening to the New Delhi’s act new album “The Birth of Billy Munro,” the experience is equally fantastic.
Amrit noted in an interview with The Chakkar that the most direct inspiration for the novella was Nick Cave’s 2010 book The Death of Bunny Munro (2010), another novel of a journey: a father-son story that also flirts with themes of darkness, pain, and redemption.
It feels like the album perfectly sets the mood for Mohan’s novella, as the grunge, blues, and alternative rock harmonize the book’s background story. As you may have already noticed, the protagonist in both the album and book is Billy Munro, a simple-minded yet hotheaded unpredictable man.
He is introduced to us right from the opening track, ‘Billy,’ and it’s just enough to add mystery to it. Tracks like ‘It’s Just Murder, Man…’, ‘In Delirium,’ and ‘Did You Kill All Those People, Mister?’ are dialogues as if we’re hearing scenes play out.
With clear psychedelic rock influences, ‘Narcissus’ is my favorite. Opening with Alec Baldwin’s haunting monologue from the 1993 film Malice, ‘Narcissus’ rises and falls in emotional resonance.
Once ‘Pistol Envy’ is played, you’ll feel the rage coming from Mocaine. Digging deeper into the album, things reach a chaotic level for Billy Munro, heightening the sense of tension and urgency Billy has to deal with his rollercoaster of emotions.
The blend of grunge, blues, and rock lives you hanging. The guitar riffs and head-banging drums bring a new energetic soundscape to the table as ‘Psilocybin’ sees Billy Munro’s reckless acts behind him.
“The Birth of Billy Munro” sees a sonic diversity once it reaches ‘There’s Been a Summer.’ Even though the vocals are cracked-like, they are the driving force on the album, setting a despairing mood in the air.
Amrit Mohan, bassist Kabir Agarwal, drummer Varun Sood (Pacifist, Black), and producer Aman Arakh (Samar Mehdi) successfully articulate the slowly creeping sense of unease while reflecting on where the plot is heading to.
At the end of “The Birth of Billy Munro,” there will be more to wait for, whether it is music, prose, or visuals. The album is sure an exciting listen and energic sonic presentation of the novella.
Amrit: Guitars & Vocals
Kabir Agarwal: Bass
Varun Sood: Drums
Abhin Iype: Keys & Organ on “There’s Been a Summer”
Wilson Lakra: Keys, Organ, & Saxophone on “The Bend”
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Aman Arakh at Music First Studio.
Music & Lyrics by Amrit.
Album Art by Neeti Banerji.