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Indie Music from the First Half of September: Reviewed




Jasmine Bharucha/ Fog Horn Blowing, Self-Released

Old-timers would know Mumbai singer Jasmine Bharucha for her early 1990s album Alien Desire and her hit song ‘Alone Now’. She moved to Canada later, and music took a back seat.
In this welcome comeback, Bharucha has released the song ‘Fog Horn Blowing’, dedicated to the Canadian town Steveston. With its country-rock feel, sing-along vibe and neat guitars, she is impressive. 
The video, directed by her son Noble Bhathena, captures the laidback essence of the town, where there’s “not much happening, not much going down”.
Overall, it’s a simple effort. After all these years, Bharucha looks and sounds the same.
Rating: 8/ 10


Roopkumar Rathod/ Hasti Apni, Self-Released

Roopkumar Rathod has had some fantastic songs in the films Border, Thakshak and Anwar. He and his wife Sunali Rathod have also established themselves in the ghazal field.
In their latest series, the Rathods explore the work of classic poet Mir Taqi Mir. Roopkumar sings the solo ‘Hasti Apni Hubaab Ki Si Hai’ with charm, as the words talk of how our existence can be an illusion.
The song has a wonderful tune and precious lyrics like “Nazuki uske labh ki kya kahiye, pankhudi ek gulaab ki si hai”. However, at two minutes and 42 seconds, with only three shers, it seems rather short.
Rating: 8/ 10


Cyanide/ Find You, 44g Records

In 2011, Delhi alternative rock outfit Cyanide released its debut album Sugarcoated. The band members went their separate ways after a couple of years.
To revive the album, which was quite popular on the independent circuit, Cyanide has gone in for a re-release on digital platforms. While tracks like ‘Hard Endeavour’ and ‘Random Gig Girl’ typify the band’s sound, we also recommend ‘Find You’, a more balladsy song with the lines “I would crawl my way back to you, I’ll find you”. The tune was used in the film Arjun & Alison.
Cyanide has some crisp vocals by Rohan Solomon, now an independent singer-songwriter, and stylish guitars by Nikhil Malik, who goes by the name of pop-rap producer Iconyk. Drummer Srijan Mahajan completes the line-up of this tight group.
Rating: 7/ 10


Shreya Jain/ Pasbaan, Springboard Records

Young singer Shreya Jain has been recognised for a string of cover versions on YouTube. She now comes up with her debut original single ‘Pasbaan’, which talks of unrequited love, without any expectations.
Jain has a melodious voice and is aided by strong composition, credited to her, Abhijeet Srivastava and Donna Debroy, with the singer writing the lyrics herself. The flute by Bhaskar Das adds charm.
The video, directed by Sagar Tripathi, has a 1990s Indipop look and feel. With its simple tune, the song should appeal to the younger lot. 
Rating: 7/ 10


Pooja Gaitonde/ Na Janu Main Kaun, Sufiscore

Pooja Gaitonde has maintained a good balance between ghazals and Sufiana music. Her powerful voice and supple technique lend expression to her songs and she proves that again on the Sufi-influenced ‘Na Janu Main Kaun’.
Gaitonde is accompanied by a tight band with Paras Nath on flute and  Santosh Mulekar on grand piano. However, the video seems too similar to the ones seen in Coke Studio, with over-colourful red lighting and standard shots.
Lyrics have been credited to Ibrahim Ashk, with support from Alex Srivastava. Gaitonde sounds elegant on the lines “Main toh ho gayee kuchh aur, na janu mein kaun”. While she’s good as expected, the tune has a familiar sounding chorus used in many Sufiana songs.
Rating: 7/ 10


Trapperx/ Coming Back To You, Self-Released

A young DJ and producer, Trapperx attracted attention with his single ‘Live Like A Love Song’, featuring Kayden McCarthy. His latest track ‘Coming Back To You’ has a melodic quality suited for clubs and radio airplay.
Trapperx has a style influenced by house music and trap, with smooth synths and rhythms. His song has a sing-along quality, with lines like “Darling you can walk away, But I keep coming, coming back to you”.
If anything, the animated video gets repetitive after a while, as it has no obvious storyline – all you see is a motorcyclist riding against the same backdrop. But the song has a hook, and is sure to keep feet tapping.
Rating: 7/ 10
Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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