The second half of January sees traditional old songs being given a new and modern avatar. This will perhaps resonate with today’s youth. Similarly, folk-rock and folk fusion seem to have a dominating hand in the Bengali circuit nowadays.
Basher Gorur Gari – Koushik and Friends
A straight dive deep into the heart of Bengali folk music, Basher Gorur Gari is a recreation of an ageless song in a modern folk-rock format. It has the infectious energy of a rock song as well as the earthy pull of a rural tune.
Koushik’s vocals are where the song finds its soul in folk, whereas the music forms a supporting structure. The rhythm is fast and has a danceable element.
There are both guitar and bass solos, while the latter creeps up to cement in trebly fillers whenever it can. But the best part of the song is the uplifting energy.
Takey Olpo Kachhe Dakchhi – Mahtim Shakib
A mellowed down version of a love song from the movie Prem Tame, this song strikes a chord with the listener by the sheer magic of its simplicity. Unassuming and subtle, it meanders about like a stream, flowing on the twinkling arpeggios of an acoustic guitar.
The chords jump up and down sometimes, adding a sense of the urgency to the even flow of the song. The vocals are endearing and carefully enunciated, but somewhere, it feels like just words are just being sung, devoid of any embodiment or feeling. Nevertheless, it can actually become more popular than the original song.
Ami Sudhu Khaja Babari Dewana – Shaswati Dey
This is one of the most uncommon songs that have come out in the Bengali circuit for a while. An absolute head-turner solely because of its instrumentation. The song starts with a melancholic sarangi crying out its love and devotion, which moves into a Middle Eastern sonic zone.
It eventually takes the form of a Bengali fakiri song with traditional instruments providing the root rhythms for the vocalist to sing upon. All said and done, the song could not live up to the standard it set in the initial moments.
Rating – 6.5/10
Dil Doriyar Majhe – Icche A Dana
A Lalon Fakir song given a new form by a band named after a famous song by erstwhile Bengali band Parashpathar, makes any listener sit up and take notice. And they do not disappoint with their folk fusion sound. Folk instruments like the dhol and dhak create the core soundscape of this band. The use of Banjo also creates the requisite folk essence.
The best part of the song is the bubbling bass lines which closely follow the dhol. However, the singer pulls down the entire band as he does not have the stylistic airs that a folk singer requires.
Rating – 7/10
O Amar Desher Maati – Debanjali Lily, Suman Mickey Chatterjee
This song celebrates Republic Day. A recreation of Tagore’s song, it talks about how integral the soil and earth is to our lives, in general. The song refers to the soil as a providing and nurturing mother. The music is built on a synthesizer which is supported by tabla and eclectic modern sounds. This has somehow taken the essence out of the traditional Rabindra sangeet style.
However, the duet vocals follow tradition, making it an odd mix of the old and the new, which is pleasant all the same.
Rating – 7.5/10