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  • Writer's pictureArpan Dey

Unsettled Bliss: A Closer Look At My Debut Album

Updated: May 23

" A magic beyond all we do here [Hogwarts]!" - Albus Dumbledore says in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.

Unsettled Bliss is my debut album. I am so happy to finally release this album. I jumped into the world of music quite suddenly, and I have always been asked how and why I got started with music all of a sudden. It all happened spontaneously. From my childhood, I always had a fascination for music, initially instrumental. Then after listening to Alan Walker’s song Different World, I realized how songs could communicate a good message to the world, in a beautiful manner. Indeed, this is not the world we had in mind, and we are stuck on answers we can't find, but we got time. I started listening to songs alongside instrumentals.

When it comes to songs, I listen to very few songs many times, and I listen to very few artists but I love their songs a lot. While I am in no way claiming them to be superior to other artists, my favorite artists are Alan Walker, Marshmello, K-391, Imagine Dragons etc. To be honest, I haven't explored other artists much, so these artists are not really my favorite artists, they are the only artists I seriously listen to. While it is undeniably true that any person exploring music should listen to as many songs and artists as possible, I get very little time to devote to music. Plus I am really addicted to these few artists and I love to play their songs again and again, trying to keep track of the subtle interplay between the music and vocals.

But even a few months earlier, when I was exploring tracks like Faded, Ignite, Believer, Alone (etc.), I never thought I would be writing serious songs or producing music. I casually tried playing some instruments on my laptop, mainly the piano. I found it was really difficult, but not impossible, to play a really good melody. And obviously, it gave me immense satisfaction. Then I tried converting my previously-written poems to songs, with verses, pre-choruses and choruses. By “converting” I mean just changing their structure. For I was never a good singer, and the idea of singing my songs myself was too shameful even in my head. So I started looking for vocalists to collaborate with online. And luckily I met some really talented people. The next problem was syncing the music and vocals. The music I made was, in most cases, either inappropriate for the lyrics or inappropriate for any suitable melody. So I had to ask the vocalists to do the production themselves, as these things don’t always work out well online. Of course, I did take part in the production of most of my songs, and in some cases, I produced the track for the song all by myself. For instance, I produced the track for my song Unsettled Bliss myself. Yeah, that’s the song after which the album is named. And speaking of names, my artist name is somewhat strange. Arpan Amplified. Yeah, it is based on my real name, Arpan Dey. The “amplified” means I am using music as a means to amplify my inner voice and spread good messages to the world. So, that's it. I'm just a songwriter who produces instrumental tracks when he feels like it. I mean, I am more of a songwriter than a producer (but lately I am taking music production more seriously). Now, let’s look at the album more closely.

First, why Unsettled Bliss? What is the concept behind the name? Unsettled Bliss is an oxymoron. This title brings into focus the fact that there are so many issues unsettled in today’s world that any kind of bliss is short-lived. Most of the songs in this album speak of internal struggle and regret. The exception is Physics. Physics is a song about, obviously, physics. The point of including Physics in the album is that even in the case of physics, we are confronted by unsettled paradoxes and weird stuff. But it is all beautiful, at the same time.

One more thing, before the promised closer look at the album. I admit that most of my lyrics have a touch of pessimism and negativity. I don't deny that. But do you know the real reason why I write dark and negative lyrics? Because, firstly, it is better to let your negativity out than to keep it confined within yourself. Secondly, I hear a lot of people complaining how unfair their lives have been (I myself belonged to that group at one point of time), and my lyrics are aimed to connect such people together, so that they realize that they are not alone, and it is more or less the same story with everyone. I am not a pessimist, or an inherently negative person. I just let my negativity out in my lyrics, and keep my positivity within me.

The album starts with a short instrumental introduction. Then the first song is One More Chance (featuring Julia Nem). This song is devoted to the concept of war, and how the aftereffects of a war continue for generations. Was there no easier way to settle conflicts? Also, this song was almost named No Easier Way before I decided on One More Chance. And indeed, the words "no easier way” appear more times in the lyrics than the words “one more chance,” but the latter group of words captures the regretful theme of the song well.

The next song is Greatness (featuring Kikoligo). This song is based on the fact that if you're sorted out from the crowd, whatever be the reason, life always becomes difficult for you. Great people always have to endure taunt, and sometimes so much that extraordinary people wish they were ordinary.

Since I started producing music and writing songs, I always knew I had to make a song on physics. Not only is it a pretty unique concept, but I'm a physics aspirant. I love physics, math, metaphysics, and a lot of other things. But among them all, I keep physics at the top. Not because I'm a genius when it comes to solving physics problems, but because physics is a beautiful and fundamental science, and who doesn't wanna explore the origins of the universe and the paradoxical subatomic world? Greatness is followed by Physics (featuring Amalia Aybusheva). Physics is bizarre both when we try to grow bigger and bigger into the cosmos and when we try to grow smaller and smaller into the atom. In fact, the reconciliation of general relativity (the physics of the cosmos) and quantum mechanics (the physics of the atom) remains one of the biggest challenges in physics today. In spite of that, the fact that we have gone from wondering whether the night sky is an overturned bowl with shining dots on its inner side to the Big Bang model and inflation is exciting and impressive.

The next song in the album is It Was Not Real (featuring Sam Adler), which is a song about sweet memories of the past. This song can be interpreted in many ways. It is mainly about a broken relationship. The lyrics make it clear that a person is being haunted by the past, and this person wants to break free of the past which seems too good to be true, and move to a new and harder life.

It Was Not Real is followed by I Wasn't Myself (featuring Julia Nem), a song about someone who has been betrayed, and is fed up with everything. This person wants to give up all resistance and give into the flow of life.

The next song, The World Versus Me (featuring Wojciech Mroczyński) is the only song in the album with male vocals. The lyrics speak of the dilemma between struggling to change the world and just enjoying life. The lyrics also speak of the injustice and corruption in today’s world.

Next, Unsettled Bliss (featuring Amalia Aybusheva). This song is preceded by a short instrumental interlude. Unsettled Bliss was a poem initially. Then I extended it into a song. Sometimes, I've been so worried and depressed that the very idea of bliss is unsettling. This song is a dedication to everyone else out there who have had this feeling. This song is for those people who see their lives to be unfair. You are not alone, we all have suffered. At some point of time, we all have wanted to take a break from life. The lyrics are highly relatable to people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. I can say that for sure, because I know how it feels, I have suffered from anxiety and depression myself.

The next song, The Absolute Apocalypse (featuring Jenny Sabi and Tape Broz) is about the ongoing fight over power, money and the world. The present political and environmental condition of the world has led many of us to wonder if we are heading for the apocalypse. The song makes it clear that we have already done irreversible damage to the world.

The next song, Death (featuring Jenny Sabi and Tape Broz) is perhaps my favorite song in the album (with the exception of Escape). This is a dark song about, as the name suggests, death. The song mainly describes how the death of a close person makes us lose faith in life. There is also a deeper meaning in the lyrics, which refers to my own life. However, I will not disclose it here.

Last, but not the least, Escape. Escape is one of my best songs, in my opinion. Some recent losses in my life (like the death of my grandfather) prompted me to write this song. Escape is a song about internal struggle and about the desire to escape reality. At the end of the song, although, I write about coming back to normal and living on with your losses. This song is somewhat similar to Unsettled Bliss, but takes a more positive turn at the end.

That's the album. So, what do I want to say through the album? I want people to realize that the world today is not as it should be. And our lives are blissless and depressing. We all have suffered, and suffering is a part of life. But apart from that, again, the world today is not as it should be, and we need to investigate this situation keeping the big picture in mind. We must not get carried away by the crowd heading in the wrong direction. Someone must take the first step, and that someone may very well be you.

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