Aatmaa debut album Cataclyms is out now

Photo credit: Aaron Ehinger

Uprising alternative rock outfit Aatmaa has just released their debut album Cataclysm. The 9-song collection – written, recorded and produced by Aatmaa – includes their previously released singles “Hidden Bruises” and “The Worst In People” as well as their roaring new single “It Sleeps,” which Aatmaa has also released an official music video for today.  Check out the new video here:

Aatmaa comments about the album,

“We are really excited to share Cataclysm with the world. This record is incredibly personal and we hope universal to our listeners. She’s a great companion on a forest walk or cool evening by the lake. She helped us through a tough time and we hope you love her as much as we do.”

Cataclysm Track Listing

1.      Suffering Ahead

2.      Low Lights

3.      The Worst In People

4.      Her Stoning

5.      Solstice

6.      Hidden Bruises

7.      Where The Power Lies

8.      It Sleeps

9.      Dementia Pending

atmaa first introduced their brand-new project in April with the release of their debut single “Hidden Bruises,” a dynamic track about the victory in running away – from people, relationships, or even organizations that are purposely trying to keep you from your full potential. PRESS HERE to watch the official music video for “Hidden Bruises.” Follow-up single “The Worst In People” is a gothic dirge about finding out who you are and accepting your truest self and owing it to yourself to be you regardless of other people’s opinions of you. “It Sleeps” is about letting someone go, highlighted by frontwoman Shara Deepankar’s howling, anguished vocals and a backdrop of tornadic guitar noise.

When Ashwin and Shara Deepankar started Aatmaa — meaning “the soul” in Hindi — during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, they viewed the band as an outlet to express (and process) their complex responses to a very fraught period. But as the Chicago-based married couple recorded the dark, intense music for Cataclysm, they landed on a sound that transcended any finite time period — and instead reflects on more universal themes: personal upheaval, the emotional toll of loss, and navigating depression and anxiety. A quintessential headphones record, Cataclysm is intimate and dynamic, encompassing moody alternative rock that balances atmospheric arrangements (the spiritual “Solstice,” a solemn “Her Stoning”) with moments of aggression (“It Sleeps”). Dig deeper and listeners will find detailed layers of sonic texture: On “Low Lights,” a scalloped melodic guitar riff matches the steady rhythmic hum of the drums, while a desolate synthesizer snakes through the elegiac “Dementia Pending” until electrified guitars emerge and explode like a meticulous fireworks show. Cataclysm often calls to mind Dead Can Dance and The Cure’s sprawling, foggy Disintegration — but there’s a rawer edge to the music that ensures it feels contemporary. Full track listing for Cataclysm below.

For the first time in their 13-year long relationship, Ashwin (drums, synth, bass, percussion, guitar) and Shara (vocals) decided to make music together. Ashwin, who works as a stage manager and drum tech for large touring productions and has spent more than 15 years on the road in production and as a touring drummer, began by creating a heavy rhythmic foundation using synthesizers and drums, and then added guitars and percussion to keep the songs moving forward sonically before Shara, a behavior analyst who works with families and kids living with autism, shared her thoughts and decided what she was drawn to singing.

More often than not, Cataclysm’s lyrics revolve around loss or what Shara refers to as “little deaths.” These may be a physical death, the loss of things, people, or places, or general changes that come from these losses. The couple, however, wanted to make sure that the lyrics and themes throughout the album were relatable outside of the pandemic. Creating the music for Cataclysm helped the duo combat depression and anxiety through a very uncertain time, and ultimately, they hope their vulnerability will do the same for listeners.

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