The first half of March had a balanced representation of releases. On one hand, a commercial label released multiple songs, and on the other, indie bands also gave a tough competition. The themes of releases have been diverse; ranging from patriotism to feminism.
Moner Danay Bhishon Shokti – Joler Gaan
Veteran Bangla band has released yet another stellar song that is musically tantalizing and conceptually thought-provoking. Courting the concept of humanity at the backdrop of the pandemic which wreaked havoc upon the world, the song questions how many of us contributed to aiding those who suffered from acute hunger and shortage of resources during this time. The music is a typical Joler Gaan product – shadowy soundscapes informed by folk instruments with hints of urban essences. At the very least, the underlying message is thrown in the listener’s face – the lyrics speak of voices screaming in pain and hunger and the music reaches a feverish peak.
Ekla Pothe – Paroma Banerjee
Created to celebrate the spirit of the modern woman who has to juggle work, family, and home, this song applauds women in every walk of life. Written and composed by Fossils’ frontman Rupam Islam, it was released on International Women’s Day. Starting out with sparse soundscapes, in the beginning, the music follows a pop-rock direction. Electronic beats come up in the middle, giving the song a dribbling rhythm. However, sometimes the tune feels forced and has a typical vocal style that Fossils’ is famous for – something which doesn’t go with the song. Even the song has been written in a purer strain of Bengali that is not spoken today.
Projapoti – Sahobashe
If one looks at the soundtrack of the film Sahobashe, it is a collection of love songs, but with differing emotions – they have covered every possible one. This song – Projapoti, meaning butterfly – falls under the happier spectrum. In a nutshell, the song says that a few butterflies, denoting the happy things in life, are still alive due to the lover. The music is pop but has fusion elements such as the tabla lending a buoyant rhythm. The string section jumps around the entire soundscape while the synthesizer takes care of the rest.
Elo Melo Smriti – Pamela Jain
Elo Melo Smriti starts off as another run-of-the-mill modern Bengali song where the lyrics court love in some way and the vocalist sings in a typical way that reeks of singing lessons since childhood. This song ticks both boxes but surprises in the musical department – a jangling acoustic guitar starts off the song and plays a defining chord at certain intervals. However, that transports to a folksy world, where a ghatam takes over rhythm duties, to be picked up by a ‘dhak’ that makes the entire soundscape regal. Interestingly, the chorus is sung in Hindi.
Dhono Dhanno Pushpo Bhora – Prithibi
A patriotic song written by Dwijendralal Ray, this song has been covered by numerous artists over the years. But Bengali rock band Prithibi has turned it into an anthem. A live recording from a concert, the dual guitar solos, and the thundering rhythm section has the crowd eating out of their palms. Obviously, frontman Koushik Chakraborty’s vocal prowess has a big hand in evoking the patriotic fervour even in a rock concert. Plunging chords before the chorus is capable of giving goosebumps, while the guitar taking off in perfect flight after that definitely will capture the listener’s attention.