Tanuja Desai Hidier | Bombay Spleen: Songs Based On Tanuja Desai Hidier's Novel Bombay Blues

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Bombay Spleen: Songs Based On Tanuja Desai Hidier's Novel Bombay Blues

by Tanuja Desai Hidier

Tanuja Desai Hidier’s second album in her groundbreaking genre of the ‘booktrack’: Twelve tracks of infectious electro-dream-pop ‘wreckage rock’ based on Tanuja's novel BOMBAY BLUES, the sequel to her critically acclaimed literary debut, BORN CONFUSED.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Catherine
3:54 $0.99
2. Chor Bazaar
4:31 $0.99
3. Sink & Swim
3:47 $0.99
4. Heptanesia
4:13 $0.99
5. Swimming Cities
3:55 $0.99
6. Deep Blue She
3:18 $0.99
7. Union Square-Union Park
3:35 $0.99
8. Firefly
3:46 $0.99
9. Light Years
3:51 $0.99
10. The Bombay Blues/Mermary Scat (feat. Leela Marie Hidier)
0:13 $0.99
11. Lady Liberty (The Catch)
4:02 $0.99
12. Seek Me in the Strange
4:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Presenting Tanuja Desai Hidier’s sonic sequel
to her trailblazing booktrack When We Were Twins:
Songs based on Tanuja Desai Hidier’s novel Born Confused

Songs based on Tanuja Desai Hidier’s novel Bombay Blues

Praise for Bombay Blues:
 “[Desai] Hidier quietly revolutionized YA literature with Born Confused, and this sequel indicates she’s intent on a repeat. Dense, lyrical, full of neologic portmanteaus and wordplay: This is a prose-poem meditation on love, family and homecoming… A journey worth making.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Tanuja Desai Hidier broke new musical ground in 2004 with the ‘booktrack’ When We Were Twins, her album of original songs based on her literary debut Born Confused. Born Confused, set in the context of NYC’s bhangra/underground club scene the summer aspiring photographer heroine Dimple Lala turns seventeen, was hailed as the first-ever South Asian American coming-of-age novel.

When We Were Twins launched to a full house at NYC’s Joe's Pub in the Joseph Papp Public Theater with Tanuja’s ‘rock-n-reading’: an event interspersing readings from Born Confused with songs from the album, with special guest spinner DJ Rekha accompanying on a custom-made live mix. The event, called Rock ‘n’ Revolutions, was a New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and Flavorpill pick of the week. When We Were Twins was featured in Wired Magazine for being a first-ever ‘booktrack’; Wired deemed it "reminiscent of Alanis Morissette...[the music] reflects the clash of styles, sounds, and influences inherent to cultural assimilation and urban living."

Now, Tanuja’s musical accompaniment to her sequel to Born Confused is here: BOMBAY SPLEEN: Songs based on Tanuja Desai Hidier’s novel Bombay Blues. Produced by Dave Sharma, co-written by Tanuja (lyrics/melodies) with Atom Fellows, Marie Tueje, and Dave (with “The MerMary Scat’ composed by world-renowned musician Jon Faddis based on/for Tanuja’s coda to her novel Bombay Blues), and featuring special guest appearances from Jon Faddis (trumpet/flugelhorn/piccolo), Gaurav Vaz of Raghu Dixit Project (bass), Neel Murgai of the Neel Murgai Ensemble (sitar), and Leela Marie & Zoé Rani Hidier of The Knock-Knocks (scat), BOMBAY SPLEEN’s dozen tracks were recorded in NYC, London, and Belgium. The album draws from the themes of Bombay Blues (many song lyrics are embedded in the novel as well)—love, homecoming, cultural history, and the mapping and unmapping of identity— with the musical narrator’s personal journey paralleling the arc of Bombay’s development itself, from its beginnings as seven islands later reclaimed to become the city we know today.

Each track has a counterpart Bombay landmark, Bombay Blues bookmark (connected chapters from the novel), and in some cases a Bombay streetsound and streetvision link (gathered from streetsounds and photos Tanuja recorded/shot during her research trips for Bombay Blues), as well as a song ‘goddess’.

BOMBAY SPLEEN opens as our narrator takes flight with “Catherine”, an ode to Catherine de Braganza, the Infanta of Portugal—and album’s ‘goddess’ number one— whose dowry to Charles II was the islands that became modern-day Bombay. The album’s heroine lands in the heart of the metropolis, and embarks on her own oceanic journey there— traveling through a songscape that includes Bombay settings Chor Bazaar, Juhu Beach, Mount Mary, Colaba, Mahim, Mazagaon, Parel, Old Woman’s Island, Chuim Village, Union Park, Lands End, Worli Fort, Reclamation (and even NYC and London) — and the once-islands that later became this reclaimed city in, as they were called by the ancient Greeks, the track “Heptanesia”. Sinking in and finally learning to swim, with “The MerMary Scat” leading us to penultimate closer “Lady Liberty (The Catch)” — a bookending ode to a goddess of freedom —the narrator finally returns ‘home’ …to find she can’t stay: It’s not about place; the journey is the only state she can inhabit, the flow where at last she finds her anchor.


Born and raised in the USA, Tanuja Desai Hidier is a writer/singer-songwriter now based in London. She is a recipient of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and her short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. Her pioneering novel Born Confused was named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults and became a landmark work. USA Today commended it as “compelling and witty…gives voice to a new generation of Americans…a rare and daring portrayal.” In starred reviews, Publishers Weekly praised it as “absorbing and intoxicating…sure to leave a lasting impression,” and Kirkus called it “a breathtaking experience.” Born Confused was recently hailed by Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone as one of the best young adult novels of all time. Its long-anticipated sequel, Bombay Blues, deemed “a journey worth making” in a starred Kirkus review, explores everything this generation faces today, with a heady mix of uncertainty and determination, despair and inspiration, haunting loss and revelatory love. Tanuja is also working on a ‘chantscape’: a film/video adaptation of the music of BOMBAY SPLEEN. The first video for the album, for the track “Heptanesia”, releases this month.

For more information, please visit www.ThisIsTanuja.com.

BOMBAY SPLEEN: Songs based on Tanuja Desai Hidier’s novel Bombay Blues
Artist: Tanuja Desai Hidier
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Media Contact: ABCreativeD@ThisIsTanuja.com



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