The 1st half of June saw a mixture of independent and music label releases. Topics range from the pandemic to the death of a beloved actor, while musically, there’s rock, rap, folk and contemporary Bengali music as well.
Barud – Prithibi
The music does justice to the song name – Barud, meaning gunpowder. Two electric guitars revel in power chorded riffs and a whole lot of distortion, out of which the vocalist talks about the destruction of humanity’s enemies while preaching of making a new world in its place. The drums play in a staggered manner, using the toms to give a muted, dribbling rhythm, on which a twinkling synthesizer works its magic. And this builds up to a climax where the guitars take over. Though Prithibi has evolved out of its soft rock identity with a change in line-up, the vocalist needs to change his approach to be more in tune with the ferocity of his band.
Na Bola Golpera – Rupam Islam
The biggest rockstar of Bangla rock, Rupam Islam doodles around with an issue that made the Indian media go crazy last year – actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The clever wordsmith, however, doesn’t mention the actor’s name even once, but through metaphors and allegories, he narrates the plausible causes like depression, darkness, pressure of fame that might have led to Rajput taking his own life. These underlying mental health issues, which might be fatal for an individual, are the untold stories which the song title illuminates. The song is taken to a different level by guitarist John Paul, who manages to bring out the grief at the passing of a much-loved actor through his guitar, ending with an angry outpouring that resembles haunting screams.
Aajke Raatey – Mouchak
The introduction of web series into mainstream media has resulted in a lot of experimentation, where music directors are unafraid to be bold in their content, as per the demands of the show. This song serves exactly that purpose by coming out of the lips of a young married woman who entices her admirers from the verandah of her own house, perhaps in the hopes that someone will shower her with attention. The vocals are perfectly sultry, adding an extra dose of coyness, very much in tune with the temperature-raising lyrics. Riding on a colorful harmonium, the music has also been designed like a mujra session of ancient times to which beautiful girls used to dance to entertain rich patrons.
Belgharia Maslandapur – JasonX, Anuz
Kolkata is being taken over by a new form of music – rap. ‘Belgharia Maslandpur’ is the latest offering which shows the diversity that the emerging scene has to offer. In a nutshell, the song talks about the lives of young men and women in the city where chilling, getting high, and hanging out are favorite pastimes. It also sheds light on the minor difficulties one has to overcome in daily life while showing a bigger picture of how the definition of ‘urbanity’ is changing. The music is lo-fi, punctuated by delayed beats while a majestic trumpet offers an illuminating musical motif throughout the song.
Manush Jitbe – Suman Ruj
A fresh take on the challenges that the pandemic has imposed on human life, ‘Manush Jitbe, translating to ‘Humanity will Win’, injects hope into its listeners. The music is bright and warm on which a mandolin adds dribbling fillers that illuminates the soundscape. The poetic lyrics are sung beautifully by Suman, who gives off a cheerful vibe that is bound to bring a smile. The best part is that the soundscape keeps expanding throughout the song but never breaks down like a wall, yet fades out in its own flow, never one step out of the bigger picture.
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