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Indie music releases from the first half of March 2020- Reviewed

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Sowmya Raoh- Yeh Hai Stree; self-released

On International Women’s Day, singer Sowmya Raoh teamed up with some leading names to produce ‘Yeh Hai Stree’. Co-composed by her and Jim Satya, and written by Vickie Bhattacharya, it features Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Dadlani, Shaan, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Aditya Narayan, Neha Kakkar and Raoh.

Sanskrit chants are followed by Hindi and English lyrics, with Ashwin Srinivasan’s bansuri and Joshua Satya’s guitar blending well. While all singers have equal parts and contribute brilliantly, Narayan shows amazing fluency on the English lines. The song has an anthemic quality and has been put together beautifully.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Ravi Iyer- Save My World; self-released

An extremely talented and admired guitarist, Ravi Iyer has regularly been involved with both rock music and Indo-fusion. On ‘Save My World’, he goes in for straight-ahead rock with lines that talk of moving from darkness to light.

Joining him is vocalist Sebastian Andrade, who sings, “I listen to my inner conscience, gotta go through this self-proclaimed redemption, I wanna start all over again, and this is how I wanna do it.” The lyrics are a plus.

The video begins with clips on war and goes on to spread positive vibes. Iyer’s guitaring is classy as usual, both in the fill-ins and solo.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Purbayan Chatterjee, Kaushiki Chakraborty- Antar, the transformation; self-released

Two wonderful artists, vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty and sitar exponent Purbayan Chatterjee get together on this composition based on a tarana in raag Bhairavi. Adding to the magic are keyboardist Stephen Devassy, guitarist Rickraj Nath and drummer Shikhar Naad Qureshi.

Composed by Chatterjee, the piece follows the classical build-up of short alaap and jod, followed by a splendid interaction between voice and sitar. Wordless tarana syllables and sargams blend with a driving rhythm. Towards the end, Devassy does a smooth keytar solo. The end result is 10 minutes of bliss, with all musicians displaying virtuosity.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Komorebi- Rebirth; Chicken Ranch Records

Delhi-based singer and electronica producer Tarana Marwah, who uses the name Komorebi, comes out with her new single ‘Rebirth’. Assisting her as a co-producer is Gaurav Raina of MidiVal Punditz.

If Komorebi earlier focused on dreamy, ambient sounds, the new track is more cutting-edge and experimental, with some Indian melodies fused in. The theme is about a comeback, making it relatable to listeners. The vocals have a 1990s alternative pop-rock aura.

A highlight is a smartly-animated video, created by Mehr Chatterjee and Aditya Dutta of Improper Design. The entire approach is out of the box.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Osho Jain- Paisa; self-released

¬†More often¬†than not, the simplest formula can work. Take singer Osho Jain. He takes a basic melody, uses convincing lyrics, adds just the right orchestration and sings straight from the heart. ‘Paisa’, the opening song from Jain’s new EP Wahaan, is the kind of song you’d like to sing along. “Paisa, paisa, paisa, kaisa, kaisa, paisa, tujhse bhi jyaada zaroori, aaj tera yeh paisa”, he sings to a soft acoustic guitar backdrop. A nice chorus line adds to the charm.
The EP has other gems like ‘Khud Se’ and ‘Har Baar’. With his pleasant and expressive voice, Jain delivers the goodies.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

 

Raj Goon- Kalavati; self-released

A month after releasing the ballad ‘I Love You’, Kolkata-based singer-songwriter Raj Goon comes out with ‘Kalavati’. It’s another song about travel and destinations, which seems to be a safe road for many artists.

It’s a sincere effort, and while Goon keeps the song simple, credit must also go to arranger Pravin Mani. A reggae influence is noticeable, especially on the basslines.

Pramith Ganguly’s video, shot in Sikkim, has some pleasing outdoor and concert shots, adding to the song’s value.

Rating: 7/ 10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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