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Indie music from the second half of September- Reviewed


Various Artistes/ The Thillana- Lalgudi 90, Self-Released

To mark great Carnatic violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman’s 90th birthday on September 17, his children Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi have conceptualised a video of his famous composition in raag Sindhubhairavi.

The seven-minute The Thillana uses a good mix of both Hindustani and Carnatic musicians, playing from different locations. The musicians include tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain, singer Shankar Mahadevan, Carnatic vocalists Bombay Jayashree, Aruna Sairam, Sudha Raghunath and Abhishek Raghuram, Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, bansuri exponent Rakesh Chaurasia and sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee.

Besides the sheer melody and Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s arrangements, a highlight is the crisp editing by Surya Narayan V. Beautifully done indeed.

Rating- 9/10



Poojan Kohli/ Kafira, Self-Released

Singer Poojan Kohli and music director Sanket Sane had combined two years ago on the song Mehermaan. Their latest collaboration Kafira again proves their skills.

Lyricist Priyanka R. Bala writes,
Khud se hi tu bhaag ke,
safar lamba baandh ke,
kis ore mudaa kafira.”

A line by Sufi poet Baba Bulleh Shah is used, and one wishes that had been credited.

The video’s rustic look goes with the song. Kohli’s vocals are pleasant, and the musical arrangement is first-rate, with guitar, Irish flute and bass used beautifully.

Rating: 8/10



Sadu/ Aankh Se Door Na Ho, Self-Released

A member of the Indi-Pop group Aryans, Sadu released the song Mausam earlier this year. Now, he renders a popular ghazal penned by Ahmed Faraz of ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ fame, and sung earlier by Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and others.

The opening lines
“Aankh se door na ho,
dil se utar jaayega,
waqt ka kya hai,
guzarta hai, guzar jaayega”
are sung with simple emotion. In fact, Sadu’s enunciation seems more influenced by Ghulam Ali.

With its pleasant guitars, the song is given a contemporary feel to relate to the younger generation. The video features a young couple, though one wonders why the models haven’t been given credit.

Rating: 8/10



Daira/ Basar, Self-Released

Over the past five years, art-rock band Daira have attracted a dedicated following. Now, they come up with the single Basar to motivate youngsters to follow their passions.

Vocalist Piyush Kapoor is in good form as he sings
Wahaan basar tu bana,
jahaan kadar teri ho wahaan.”
Guitarists Vikalp Sharma and Shivam Pant are right.

Fahad Sheikh’s video features many guest artistes like Siddharth Basrur, Sherrin Verghese, 2Blue, MC Mawali and Arunaja. While the song scores on its hook and words, one feels it could have been shorter than seven minutes. Somewhere, it seems to stretch.

Rating: 7/10


Justin- Uday Duo/ Vada Pav On My Mind, Judo Music

Active in the jingle space, Mumbai-based Justin-Uday Duo come out with a dedication to the city’s popular street snack. Vada Pav On My Mind has a neat electronica background and catchy feel.

Vocalist Bhramari Ninjoor sings,
I got vada pav on my mind,
I need it,
and that sort of sticks as an ear worm. However, there could have been at least one humorous stanza describing the snack, and the whole piece could have been a minute longer for better digestion.

On a lighter note, this song is like real “vada pav” – a short, tasty bite where you feel a little more masala would be ideal.

Rating: 7/10


Joshua Singh/ All I Ever Learnt, Quilt

Joshua Singh comes from an illustrious musical family, as his grandfather Chiranjit Singh and father Raju Singh have both been accomplished musicians. The youngster drummed with the band Spud In The Box, before releasing his EP Understudy last year.

Singh’s new single All I Ever Learnt takes a while to grow, but impresses with its production qualities and use of synths. Lines like

I couldn’t save you,
I couldn’t face you,
’cause I never had you

are impressive.

The video, directed by Tanvi Gandhi, looks beautiful, despite its abstract concept. With the freezing hilly terrain and a giant bubble hovering, you want to watch it in a multiplex.

Rating: 8/10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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