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Indie Music from the First Half of January- Reviewed

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Viveick Rajagopalan and others/ Raat… Subah Si, self-released

Everything comes together so magically in this song composed by percussionist Viveick Rajagopalan. The lyrics by K.C. Loy, Isheeta Chakrvarty’s vocals, Sanjay Divecha’s guitar, and Carola Ortiz’s clarinet chip in equally.

Viveick himself plays the udu, a Nigerian drum. The video, directed by him and Rafiq Raja, has been stunningly produced in black n’ white, with noted Kathak and Lavani exponent Aditi Bhagwat doing a marvelous job as choreographer and performer.

The song talks of a woman’s recollections and yearning. The lyrics have poetic gems like “Shabnam barse dheere dheere, peshani se pighalte heere.” And the clarinet takes it to another zone.

Rating: 9/ 10

Vibha Saraf/ Meharbaniyaan, Fish In The Sky Music

Besides songs in the films Raazi and Gully Boy, Vibha Saraf has released some neat independent singles. Her latest one, Meharbaniyaan, is about a girl seeking encouragement from her partner.

“Dilaasa, thoda sa, zara sa agar doge mujhe toh hongi meharbaniyaan,” sings Vibha, against the backdrop of Magdalena Slonko’s steady piano. The words have a free-flowing structure matching the tune.

While Vibha has composed, written, and sung the song, Divyansh Ganjoo’s video direction captures the situation well. Like the song, it is simple.

Rating: 7/ 10

SkyEyes/ Bring Me To The End, self-released

After releasing their self-titled EP two years ago, Delhi band SkyEyes has now come out with a new single. Featuring vocalist Diyatom Deb, they have a new guitarist in Kaushik Manikandan.

The words talk about the plight of musicians after the pandemic. “Lockdown, I feel the blues every minute of the day, so I sit write this song maybe feel a bit better this way,” sings Diyatom, against a heavily improvised guitar.

The song changes tempo and mood, with a spoken-word interlude talking of world leaders, before ending in a rousing climax. Akhil Kumar’s drums and Barun Sinha’s bass are in perfect tandem in this impressive song.

Rating: 8/10

Rohanmaz/ I See Fire, self-released

After being associated with the band’s Something Relevant and The Colour Compound, singer Rohan Mazumdar aka Rohanmaz releases his solo single I See Fire. The song has a typical Motown-influenced Soul feel. and it’s backed by Sanya Sagar’s brilliant black ‘n white video.

It’s a very relevant song talking about the ups and downs of life. “I feel it gets better, I believe it gets better,” goes the optimistic refrain, after referring to “melodies of hope starting to smile but only for a while”.

Produced by Nathan Thomas, the song is further lifted by backing vocals from Vasundhara Vee and Azamaan Hoyvoy. It’s one of those numbers that create an impact.

Rating: 8/ 10

Akshay Khot/ Tere Bagair, TM Music

Here’s a pleasant ballad by singer Akshay Khot, focusing on the romantic relationship between two women, played by Moumita Pal and Sofia. The video has been well-scripted by Shelly Sharma and handles the subject with sensitivity.

The song begins, “Na jaane, kaise jiye hum, beparwah, kaise ude hum, tere bagair, tere bagair.” Produced by Sunny M.R., the song has a mellow orchestration with acoustic and nylon guitars, ukulele, violin, and accordion.

Khot’s singing is natural, and the song makes you want to hum along.

Rating: 7/ 10

Nikhil D’Souza/ Woh Raat, self-released

Nikhil D’Souza has been singing in both English and Hindi. On his latest track Woh Raat, he begins nostalgically with the words, “Woh raat bewafa si aaj bhi hai yaad, chaaye thei badal or thei hum tum, tab se dooriyan hai aur tanhai hai saath.”

Though the composition is intense, Nikhil seems to be straining himself on certain words. In contrast, he sounds very smooth on the English line, “I’ll never say goodbye.”

The orchestration is minimal, and that’s a good approach. Yet, the vocals could have been more natural.

Rating: 6/ 10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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