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Indie Music Releases From The First Half Of August 2021- Reviewed


Various Artistes/ Hum Hindustani, Dhamaka Records

Every Independence Day, there’s a shower of patriotic song releases, and this year, this writer got to hear 12 new tunes. Of the lot, Hum Hindustani is a simple song inspiring a feeling of hope in these times of adversity.

Beginning with spoken renditions by Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan, it features singers Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam, Shabbir Kumar and Kailash Kher. Lyricist Kashish Kumar writes, “Is lamhe ko haraaenge, dekh lena”.

Music is by Dilshad Shabbir Shaikh, and while Sonakshi Sinha and Shruti Hassan are uncomfortable in their singing parts, Padmini Kolhapure and Shraddha Kapoor are melodious.

Rating: 7/ 10

Check out the video here:

L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, Shaan/ Youth Anthem, Subramaniam Entertainment

Ace playback singer Kavita Krishnamurti teams up with popular artiste Shaan on Youth Anthem, which uses a patriotic fervour to pay tribute to the Olympics medal winners.

Composed by violinist Dr L Subramaniam, the uptempo song has been written by Sameer Anjaan, who uses lines like, “Kahenge saare seena than, Hum hai kal ka Hindustan” and “Naya josh hai, nayee udaan”.

The electric guitar and violin solos, and the strong choruses embellish the song. Though the title implies it’s targeted at the youth, the song has a broader appeal.

Rating: 7/ 10

Check out the video here:

Anuradha Pal/ Dancing Rain, Sur Aaur Saaz

In 2014, tabla exponent Anuradha Pal released the track Recharge Plus, based on raag Miyan Ki Malhar. Now, on Dancing Rain, she uses the same melodies and words, but involves other musicians and instruments, adding the Vande Mataram notes at the beginning and end to lend a patriotic touch.

The tune is energetic, with a world music-fusion vibe. The highlights are Anuradha’s driving rhythms on different percussion instruments, with Shikarnaad Qureshi on cajon and bongo. Sandeep Ranade’s vocals are robust.

Kathak dancers Shovana Narayan and Saswati Sen appear in the video with contemporary dancer Sandip Soparrkar. Raveena Tandon looks like she’s modeling for shampoo.

Rating: 7/ 10

Check out the video here:

Sharat Chandra Srivastava/ Garden Lounge, Perseverance Records

Representing the Senia gharana, violinist Sharat Chandra Srivastava has also done experimental work with rock band Parikrama and fusion project Mrigya. His solo album No Passport Control contains a mix of styles.

Garden Lounge is one of the highlights. This jazz-fusion piece was first recorded in Holland with guitarist Igor Bezget, bassist Tadej Kampl and tabla player Heiko Dijker. Later, Joshua Grant’s drums and Sachin Kapoor’s piano were added.

Sharat’s build-up and brisk violin passages adorn the song, and the tight rhythm-play keeps you riveted. The rest of the album has its highs too, with the track named Inspired being a beauty in raag Kafi, and the title track featuring vocalist Katja Koren.

Rating: 8/ 10

Check out the video here:

Dastaan Live/ Kaun Bataye?, Self-Released

Two years ago, Hindi pop-rock group Dastaan Live released the moving Mat Ro Bachche, inspired by a Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem. Their latest song Kaun Bataye? is sourced from an unknown poet.

The song has a dark, protest theme with lines like, “Dharam kahaan, imaan kahaan hai, khuda kahaan, bhagwan kahaan hai? and “Aaj bhi kal jaisa kyon hai?” Jagtinder Singh Sidhu’s vocals blend well with the guitars of Sumant Balakrishnan and Subhanshu Singh.

The video is a melange of masked and painted faces, using placards and other props to display strong messages. Conceptualised by the band, the crowd-sourced film has been produced creatively and artistically.

Rating: 8/ 10

Check out the video here:

Anyasa ft Isheeta Chakrvarty/ Rasiya, Anjunadeep

The new project of Goa-based DJ Anish Sood, Anyasa blends electronic music with classical and folk melodies. His debut EP Gaya has four tracks, with singers Isheeta Chakrvarty, Bawari Basanti, Amreet Kurmi and Amira Gill.

The EP opens with Rasiya, where Isheeta sings, “Jogan banke nachoon main, nachoon rasiya, jogan banke nachoon”, after which the electronic segment picks up, and there’s a sprightly burst of rhythms.

All songs come in two versions – the regular one and the extended mix. In the case of Rasiya, the latter is far more impactful.

Rating: 6/ 10

Check out the video here:


Mayank Maurya/ Tanha Kyon, TBS Music

Meant to be a song for “all those who have loved and lost”, Tanha Kyon features singer Mayank Maurya, whose voice brings out an expression of loneliness, as he sings, “Bhool jaaoonga tujhko hai waada mera”.

Kushal Mangal provides the music, using strong guitars and basslines to give a power balladish feel. Akshay Tripathi’s lyrics are the kind many can relate to, especially after a break-up.

Mayank appears with Rita Kundu and Ekansh Grover in the video, directed by Paawon Bharadwaj. The singer shows potential.

Rating: 7/ 10

Check out the video here:

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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