Toshi Sabri/ Teri Rooh, Aatma Music
After the 2009 song Maahi from Raaz: The Mystery Continues, singer Toshi Sabri has made regular appearances in Hindi film music. Teri Rooh is an independent song talking of a man trying to forget his former lover.
Composer Bhanu Pandit comes out with a strong tune, blending sudden bursts of Sufiana-inspired interludes with straight-ahead ballad-sy melodies. Toshi does a good job fluctuating his style, and Bhanu’s lyrics suit the subject.
On the flip side, the video tries to focus on actor Shakti Arora, and in the process, everyone else looks expressionless. Despite a simple and relatable script, it ends up being tacky and bland.
Rating: 6/ 10
Sanjana Devarajan/ Bhool, Victory Music
Over the past year, singer Sanjana Devarajan has been consistently releasing new songs. Besides Kyun in Hindi, she had the neat English songs Lemonade, I May Not Be A Star and I Could Be Your Wife.
Now, she composes, writes, and sings the Hindi number Bhool. Produced by Mayur Jumani, it has the simple lines “Dekho mere paas hi tum rehna humdum yaara, tere siva mera yahan koi nahin”.
The song is aided by a well-made video, directed by Disha Shukla and Somen Kumar. Actors Avinash Mathur and Shivya Pathania look fresh and complement each other well.
Rating: 7/ 10
Anushka Jag/ Hurricane, Taboo Records
Anushka Jag has been singing pop-rock songs for a while now, often blending uptempo tunes with a dash of Indianness. Her latest single Hurricane thus kicks off with Indian rhythms before getting its international vibe.
Using blunt lyrics, the song talks of the ups and downs in a relationship and gathering oneself after a betrayal.
“I’ll blow you down like a hurricane, hurricane, I’m gonna you blow you right down,” she sings, vowing to make her target “feel the pain, feel the shame.”
Anushka’s style is suited to electric stuff, and this is the kind of song that should appeal to an international audience.
Rating: 7/ 10
Arrows ft. Siddharth Basrur/ Buried To Dust, self-released
Arrows is the brainchild of Mumbai musician David Britto, who invites guest vocalists for his songs. On Buried To Dust, he gets in the extremely talented singer Siddharth Basrur.
Over the past few months, Basrur has guested for Sparsh The Band, Vinay Kaushal and GrooveBot, with a different feel each time. On this, his voice syncs perfectly with Arrow’s composition, rooted in 1990s rock and alternative.
The introspective lyrics, inspired by what happens after death, are co-written by Britto and Denver Cardoz. The brilliant video, directed by Blake D’Silva, featuring Kristofor Mendonca and shot in the Bandra bylanes, adds to the class.
Rating: 8/ 10
Arunaja/ I’ll Never Be The One, Self-Released
Inspired by Rhythm n’ Blues and gospel music, Kochi singer Arunaja impresses with her vocal texture and soulful renditions. After the tracks Broken and Cyanide, she releases I’ll Never Be The One.
With her natural range, she sings, “I’ll never be the one to break your heart, I’ll never be the one to keep afar”. After a slow start, the rhythm builds up smoothly, adding a new dimension.
However, though Arunaja excels with her rendition, the song comes up as something routine. Missing is the X-Factor that made her earlier Cyanide so special. That apart, she has plenty of potential.
Rating: 7/ 10
Samantha Noella/ Ladder Rung, self-released
After releasing the songs Five Minute Fudge and Won’t Back Down in October, Mumbai singer Samantha Noella comes out with Ladder Rung. She continues in pretty much the same vein, with her intricate phrasing and jazz club feel.
Featuring musician Simon Reid and drummer Gino Banks, the song is perfect for both home listening and club performance. The opening lines, “Making my way now right up the ladder, I’m gonna be strong and take up the matter” give an indication of the mood.
Known for her live performances too, Samantha is set to release her next single later this month. We’re waiting.