Phosphenes is an indie band from Kathmandu, Nepal. As a trio, Abhi Pokhrel, Prajwal Aryal, and Aman Karna were the band’s founding members when they entered the music scene in 2016.
Like the word ‘phosphene’ implies seeing light with closed eyes, the soulful melodies and soothing ballads that define the band make listeners drift with eyes shut, close off the world around them, and enter a state of trance.
‘Dust’ was the song that started it all for the band in 2016. The single, released to Spotify, became an instant hit. Inspired by the success of ‘Dust’, the band launched their first EP, ‘Know This Time’ in 2018 at Tangal woods and 25 hours.
The EP featured four songs: ‘Know This Time’, ‘I Will Be Gone’, ‘Let The Universe Find You’, and ‘Dust’. The songs have a mellow cadence, perfectly complemented by soulful vocals and relatable lyrics of love lost and self-discovery. Each song, genre-breaking, delicately mixing folk, alternate pop and rock for a unique musical experience. This signature style has been a flame that engulfs every soul touched by their music, igniting a passionate following for the band.
‘Dust’ and ‘I Will Be Gone’ are two fan favorites that have been the epicenter of the Phosphenes wave. Amidst the vibrant gig culture of Kathmandu, a hub for people and travelers from around the globe, they have honed their music for a universal audience.
With every performance, they have amassed a bigger and bigger crowd of loyal followers, ready to scoop up seats wherever they perform next. They have grown to mainstream success in Nepal through devotion to their songcraft and loyal fanbase.
The success of their music video for ‘Yestai Nai Hola’, catering to Nepali fans, has been the breakthrough song for the band. Garnering more than 2 Million views since its upload in January of 2022, the song has turned the Phosphenes into a viral sensation in their home country of Nepal.
The band has produced many aesthetic music videos that showcase in retro-fashion, themes of love as expressed, minimally in the video for ‘I Will be Gone’, dramatically in the video for ‘Night’, and abstractly in the video for ‘Eklai Huda Ta Jhan’ and ‘Know This Time’. There’s a retro motif and exceptional artistry to every music video they produce.
Although ‘Yestai Nai Hola’ and ‘Eklai Huda Ta Jhan’, the only two Nepali songs in their recently released 14-track album ‘Sullen Days’ have soared the band to fame in Nepal, each song in the album is equally brilliant. It is a taste of musical brilliance, designed for the whole world to be charmed by, in days to come.
Launched in 2022 at the Supper Club, the album ‘Sullen days’ feels like an embrace of peaceful solitude, drifting in memory of love and longing.
The music acts as a vehicle to a solitary state of mind, sweeping you out of the crowd around you into a journey of your own. Like a navigator guiding your voyage through stormy nights and sullen days, it is a rollercoaster ride of remembrance, acceptance, and overcoming the past. The sonical journey from the first to the final track of the album bears precisely this sense of self-discovery for listeners.
The album has a fascinating quality where the music evolves like time-traveling. Each track shifts slightly in the genre, effortlessly carrying forward to a new era of music from song to song. But one thing that stays the same throughout is the trance-like state each piece evokes, as promised in true Phosphenes-style.
Beginning with ‘Yestai Nai Hola’, the sounds of synth-pop usher listeners to the sullen dangers of the same old, same old. There’s a spark of inspiration drenched in blissful melancholy to change things up from the very first track. By mid-album, there’s a smooth transition to more jazzy tones, setting a new mood through songs like ‘Bombay’, ‘Hey!’ and ‘Night’. The next half is a treat of calm psychedelic and folk pop with ‘I Got Flowers’, ‘Fall’, ‘Lost at Sea’ and many more masterful melodies accompanied by soulful ballads. Spirited pop rock picks up the baton at the end with ‘Cotton Clouds’ and ‘Sullen Days’, the perfect build-up to a beautiful finale that lingers in the heart.
What remains? The echoes of ‘Sullen Days’ both song and album…
This album is a glimpse of the band’s soaring potential to continuously discover and produce many more soul-touching gifts of sound. They are dauntless explorers of innovative music, constantly experimenting in search of better sounds.
Following the album’s release, they also performed at the Grasslands Music Festival. To wrap up a momentous year for the band, Phosphenes were honored as Best New Artist of 2022 by Hits FM Music Awards.
Spearheading into 2023, the band prepares to take on the world stage with more than 99,000 listeners on Spotify and 50,000 subscribers on YouTube, snowballing on their musical journey.
With ambitions to constantly test the bounds of sound, their vision is to make music that resonates with all corners of the world.
Band Member Bio
Abhi is a singer/songwriter and producer of the band. He began his musical journey in 2014, recording covers and creating original compositions and uploading them online. He played a key role in the production of their debut EP, “Know This Time”. He has also composed many popular songs for the band, including "Yestai Nai Hola," "Eklai Huda ta Jhan," and "Oh love." In 2021, he started producing for other artists, including Woohoo Music and Ashish Kafle. In addition to his work with Phosphenes, Abhi is also involved in the band Wabiisabii, where he has arranged and wrote songs for the group.
Prajwal is the singer-songwriter of the band. He calls himself an existential poet of sorts, which is reflected in many metaphors woven into the songs he writes. The lyrics of ‘Sullen Days’, ‘Fall’ and ‘Night’ are full of such human emotions. A musical explorer, he started by composing indie folk songs. The influence of dream pop can be seen in his later works and currently he is producing a solo project, experimenting with sci-fi and neo psychedelic music. He loves to switch through genres, breaking rigid perspectives on music to give himself the creative freedom to explore, experiment, and express.
Aman is a guitarist for the band and has been passionate about music since he first started playing the guitar in 2006. He has a strong interest in electronic music and has spent many years experimenting with this genre. He particularly enjoys creating original downtempo and ambient electronic music, often combining various genres, instruments, and cultural soundscapes to create a unique and modern sound. Aman is dedicated to his craft and spends a lot of time working on music, even sacrificing sleep in pursuit of his artistic goals.