Commercial music labels are back in business again with a major festival around the corner, Durja Pujo.
Surprisingly though, besides film releases, there have also been a substantial amount of Bengali and non- Bengali Hip-Hop songs.
On the other end of the spectrum, songs about cities and its inhabitants have a heavy thematic presence in this listing.
Raatdupurer Gaan – Shovan Ganguly
A rather touching and tender song, Raatdupurer Gaan tells the tale
of those who are usually invisible in the hustle-bustle of urban life –
the daily wagers, rickshaw pullers, odd labourers, and the countless
others who sleep on pavements and under the shade of trees after
doing back-breaking work for the entire day.
Sadly though, though the tenderness is present in Shovan’s low-register voice, some words cannot be almost heard, thereby diluting the effect. The music is very placid and in the background. The video shows the non-glamorous the nightlife of Kolkata and its invisible inhabitants.
Nei Ami – Eternal and Big Smoke
Bengali rap is advancing by leaps and bounds with each new release.
Also, the kind of themes the musicians dabble in is quite an eyeball-
grabbing. Nei Ami, translating to “I’m not here”, takes on depression, loneliness, pessimism, negativity, and mental breakdown.
In today’s disturbing urban world, prescription drugs and therapy has
become the new norm, while unfortunate suicides also happen. The
song describes the things that could possibly go on inside a person’s head who is grappling with an imminent mental breakdown, including identity loss. The music takes shape on grounding, lo-fi beats while unhinged soundscapes wrap itself around the words.
Rating – 8/10
Amar Kono Golpo Nei – Tasher Ghawr
A blissfully pleasant acoustic track, Amar Kono Golpo Nei has
global feels in the way the music moves. It has surreal Latin vibes.
Somber bass grooves blend into twinkling arpeggios of multiple string instruments while the ethereal female voice creates images out of words. Surprisingly, the vocals have been done by leading lady Swastika Mukherjee. The song deals with the identity and experiences that make up a person and how one can choose to forget one’s past.
It relates experiences to a house of cards that can topple very easily, where memories become blurry and nearly non-existent. All in all, a beautiful thought-provoker.
Doshobhuja Ma – Chayanika
For Bengali people, the most important festival is Durga Pujo, and what a better way to celebrate its arrival than a song dedicated to the goddess Durga. A devotional song written and sung by Chayanika, it follows in the style of folk and modern music.
A flute forms the lead instrument, stirring up emotions, which is taken up by a sarod which spices up the soundscape. A tabla creates a somber rhythm base on which a powerful musical bed is created for Chayanika to celebrate the greatness of the goddess.
Ghoomer Nodi – Borno Anonyo
A layered composition, both thematically and musically, ‘Ghoomer
Nodi’ will take several listens before it reaches inside. Once it does,
the wonderful profoundity will hit hard while the unique soundscape
will stay back.
The song is basically the tale of a city (Kolkata) which lives everyday and endlessly, like a perennial river, even while its inhabitants sleep. It is a never-ending loop, where the city journeys back and forth everyday through all the minute activities it sees.
The music has atmospheric vibes, while the vocal arrangements borrows from a choir. It is a surreal breath-taker.
Rating – 9/10
The review has been written by – Sashwata Roy Chaudhari