Chirag Todi ft Yohan Marshall/ Be Easy, self-released
Ahmedabad-based guitarist-composer Chirag Todi is the founder member of the independent band Heat Sink. On ‘Be Easy’, the second single of his forthcoming EP Panodrama, he’s collaborated with vocalist Yohan Marshall, who also writes the lyrics and plays the drums.
The song uses doses of progressive rock, pop-rock and jazz, and while Todi’s guitar work is stylish, there are some neat passages from saxophonist Abhay Sharma. The lines go, “Be easy, I won’t just let you crash before the flight; Keep spinning, until you trust what’s beyond the light”.
Producer-bassist Raag Sethi and keyboardist Nayan Kapadiya complete the line-up. Chirag Chaudhary’s video animation goes well with the tune and words.
Rating: 7/ 10
Tanmaya Bhatnagar/ I Can’t Go Back To Sleep, self-released
The first thing that strikes you about Tanmaya Bhatnagar is the smokiness of her voice. Based in New Delhi, she sings in both English and Hindi.
Her English single ‘I Can’t Go Back To Sleep’ uses sleep as a metaphor to talk about a relationship. “I dreamt about you my darling, you gave me flowers and a song to sing”, she says, before saying the thought of him makes her weep.
Rishabh Sanghi’s keyboards, Aarant Sarangi’s cello and Amar Pandey’s guitar play subtly in the backdrop giving the song a dreamy texture and alternative pop-rock feel.
Rating: 8/ 10
Badal – Safidon Ka Chhora/ Bas Ka Nahin, TM Music
Badal, who also goes by the name Safidon Ka Chhora, blends a Haryanvi folk style with rap, and sings in a language one can easily understand. After the tracks Afsos and Peeta Nahin, he comes out with Bas Ka Nahin.
The song has a catchy hook, with the lines “Jaake dhoond le tu aur koi soniye, yeh pyaar mere bas ka nahin”. A smooth rap stretch gives the song a burst of energy.
The video, directed by TEAM inflict, shows Badal displaying a carefree body language. It suits the song, but you’ve seen similar stuff often before.
Rating: 7/ 10
Deepa Nair Rasiya/ Ooch Apaar, Asli Music
To mark Sri Guru Nanak Dev’s 551st birthday last month, London-based singer Deepa Nair Rasiya has released the traditional shabd Ooch Apaar written by Guru Arjan Dev. The song is beautifully composed and sung and grows on repeated listening.
Rasiya sings the lines “Ooch apaar beant swami, kaun jaane gun tere” to raag Malhar, with guitar. keyboards and cello adorning the backdrop. The combined effect fills one with serenity.
After singing Guru Arjan Dev’s ‘Thakur Tum Sarnai Aaya’ earlier this year, this is a worthy follow-up. The production, shared by K.J. Singh and Rasiya, enhances the audio experience.
Rating: 9/ 10
The Fortune ft Lucia Valdes/ Not Here For You, self-released
Originally from Kerala, The Fortune comprises Dhananj Shivganesh and Nikhil Pradip, whose sound is a mix of rhythm n’ blues and hip-hop. On the track ‘Not Here For You’, they collaborate with Guatemalan singer Lucia Valdes, who Shivganesh discovered on Instagram.
Adding to the diversity is South African lyricist Greg Van Kerkhof. Produced through Internet collaborations, the track has a nice dance vibe with the singer telling someone not to get in her way, Nikhil’s rap stretch lends a twist.
The video’s look and the dance moves give an international flavour. It’s definitely a song that will make you tap your feet.
Rating: 7/ 10
Kiara Chettri/ Kinara Tu, self-released
At 17, Kiara Chettri has released her debut album 4 am. While most songs are in English. she sings the Hindi song ‘Kinara Tu’ for her mother.
Kiara’s voice is expressive and has a maturity for her age. Manish Bhatt writes the words, “Jo main nadi hoon, kinara tu”.
A black n’ white video, directed by Cineeditors, has been released. And while one enjoys this. one could also check out the title track, A Reason, the bilingual Some Hope and other songs from her album.