The first half of February sees commercial labels brimming with new releases, with some indie acts signing up with them to release a few tracks. However, the same old theme of love gets a bit tedious now. But the two independent releases on this list borrow from folk but form sonic statements of their own which are impossible to ignore.
Dayal Baba – Koushik And Friends
A very famous folk tune from Bengal, ‘Dayal Baba’ several renditions. A new folk-rock version has been envisioned by ace Bangla rocker Koushik Chakraborty. Fast, exciting and powerful, their version has an enviable pulse that sets it apart from others. Koushik’s semi-folk singing falls beautifully on the throbbing bass lines over the folk riff played on the guitar, embellished by a melodica. Double stop rhythms, an incendiary guitar solo and modern approach to old tunes is a breath of fresh air which is necessary to keep alive such songs which would otherwise be lost to today’s youth.
Amar Chalaki – Anupam Roy
A serious yet humorous song about love and its associated fights, the song features the fight of two lovers as the man has forgotten the date of their anniversary – something which is stereotyped yet true. The man tries to woo his ladylove desperately and calm her anger but the fights keep on happening just as their love keeps on growing. Anupam Roy’s soulful voice keeps the spark lit embellished with melodic music. Playful piano chords keep the sonic theme light. Later, traditional instruments like harmonium and tabla along with a string section take the song to a different dimension, above the usual sentimental fare.
Ogochhalo Mon – Taalpatar Shepai
Taalpatar Shepai is a musical duo who are making waves in the Bengali indie scene with their new brand of soulful music. Simple, reflective and sweet, their music finds resonance with new age listeners. Beautiful lyrics and hummable melodies also help in forging connections with fans. ‘Ogochhalo Mon’ is no exception – it yearns for an elusive lover, trying to impress her with whatever means that one has while a twinkling soundscape floats in the background. The primary sounds are created by ukulele and guitar – airy, acoustic music that does not show off but just sits in the ear comfortably.
Tomate Harabo Ei Mon – Avijit Lahiri
Are there too many love songs? If you listen to ‘Tomate Harabo Ei Mon’, you’ll probably say yes. A typical, run-of-the-mill song about dreams of being together, it has nothing new to offer. Though not bad, it is unfortunately quite forgettable. The singer’s thin voice reveals that he is trying too hard to sound sweet. He is too conscious to properly express the requisite emotions. The music, simple and unpretentious, though a notch higher than the singer’s performance, fails to evoke much interest either.
Ek Jiboner Gaan – Joler Gaan
A stellar song by Bangladeshi band Joler Gaan, ‘Ek Jiboner Gaan’ is philosophical in nature. It talks about life and the futilities of man’s efforts to control fate and everything that happens to him, yet we try. Illusions get mixed up with realities and present a desolate picture of life with a silver lining of hope. Now, the music is otherworldly – acoustic guitars and wistful violins banking on folk percussive sounds which take a turn towards rural tunes in the transitions. And to top it off, the vocalist’s earthy and endearing delivery style will make the song resonate with you – the listener.