Palacchi Kothhaye- Prithibi
This stellar song by Prithibi is the mouthpiece for existing urban life which is bogged down by insomnia, stress, depression and other issues which affect mental health. Yet we try to ignore them. On a soft rock format, the song plays out like a beautiful soundtrack to the tales of our own minds as we try to escape from ourselves. Softly spoken words mingle with guitar bends aligned to emotions, the rhythm almost hidden. The video is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel replete with horrifying images of fear, anxieties and similar mind pollutants. The song has been dedicated to the memory of actor Irrfan Khan.
Dotarar Gaan – Mir Ibrahim
A folk song with modern arrangements banking predominantly on a twinkling acoustic guitar, Mir Ibrahim celebrates the various types of folk music prevalent throughout Bengal. From singing about the lush green agricultural lands of Bengal to songs of sorrow and pain in the voice of its folk minstrels, he stresses on the fact that folk music is ancient and evergreen. More pointedly, he reminisces about stringed instrument – dotara – used extensively in folk. The rhythm is buyoed by dhaak and ghatam on the percussive end while a flute adds tasteful fillers. The champion, however, is the dotara followed closely by the guitar.
Rating – 8/10
Boroloker Bitilo – Oxygen
Badshah’s ‘Genda Phool’ really created major ripples, especially in the folk circuit in Bengal. Ratan Kahar, who wrote the tune, became an overnight sensation and tributes poured in for him. This rendition of Ratan’s song by Oxygen is one such tribute. It sticks closer to the original version with folk leanings. Though the arrangement follows a rock tangent, it is never overbearing. The female vocals, especially, drives home the folk essence. Power chords are used artfully, hidden in layers behind to add gumption. Even though it was created during the lockdown with members recording their parts separately, the product ranks under professional standards.
Juddho Joyer Gaan – Purab and Shreya Chakraborty
Though dark in its presentation, ‘Juddho Joyer Gaan’, which literally translates to War Winning Song, is a hopeful battle cry against the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees. Shreya’s voice has hints of despair as she becomes the spokesperson for billions of people who are being forced to stay indoors. Raw distorted soundscapes embellish the negativity and restlessness that all of us feel as we try to cope with not engaging in usual activities, most importantly meeting people. The song also criticizes those people who willingly do not obey guidelines and put others at risk. A pure rock number, this is hard-hitting song with an important message.
Ektukhani Dao Abosor – Subhamita Banerjee
The first thing that hits the listener is the exquisitiness of Subhamita’s trained voice. Patient, endearing and unhurried, she sings Kavi Nazrul Islam’s composition with just the right dose of required emotions. The voice is clearly the master while the music is the slave, serving only to accentuate it. Soft piano beds, guitar arrpegios with organ soundscapes start the song which is gradually taken over by string arrangements and minimal percussion on the tabla. The song follows the typical style of modern Bengali songs. Naturally, it is bound to find resonance with the larger crowd.