Bottled Up’s “The Reverie” plays with traditional, pop sensibilities to create something murky, experimental, and new.
Indian-American, multi-instrumentalist Nikhil Rao started experimenting with his pop/rock mutations in 2012 on his Tascam 8-track. Influenced by artists like R. Stevie Moore, Prince, Talking Heads, and Ariel Pink, he gravitated towards pushing songwriting and arrangements to their outer limits.
His murky, experimental pop/new-wave tracks continued to evolve as a solo-artist in Oakland, CA and Los Angeles, while attending college in Silicon Valley for Sound Design and Scoring for Film & Video Games.
After moving to D.C., Nikhil formed Bottled Up with Colin Kelly. As chief songwriters, and coming from different backgrounds (Nikhil from the frenetic DIY scene of Oakland and Colin from the more experimental/avant-garde D.C.), the kaleidoscopic tape meditations transformed into something more polished and clear while retaining the mercurial nature of Nikhil’s analog heritage.
The band was then joined by Michael Mastrangelo and Beth Cannon on lead guitars, thickening and expanding sonic diversity, as well as Nikhil’s younger brother Rohit Rao on drums who glides between visceral punk and acid-jazz rhythms.