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

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Prashanth Srinivas, Swaroop Khan, Sukanya Purkayastha/ Thaare Bina, RagaHaus Music

Composed by Prashanth Srinivas, ‘Thaare Bina’ is a smooth blend of Rajasthani folk melodies and pop-rock arrangements. The vocals by Sukanya Purkayastha and Srinivas talk of the separation of a lover, but the main highlight is Swaroop Khan’s semi-classical singing, especially towards the end.

The song has lines like, “Door tu, majboor hoon piya, ab laut ja, pal pal jaaoon jal’, written by Shraddha Sehgal. Guitars and flutes add charm to the arrangement. The tunes grow after a few listens, and this is a good example of how folk can be used in a contemporary manner while retaining its earthiness.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Amitabh Bachchan, others/ Guzar Jayega, The Project Hope

While there have been many Corona-based songs, this one stands out because Amitabh Bachchan recites a few spoken passages.

Composed by Jazim Sharma, the  lyrics are given by Siddhant Kaushal. Curated and Produced by Varun Prabhudayal Gupta, the song features many singers and celebrities. The direction is credited to Jay Verma.

Highlighting that this phase will pass and lead up to better times, the song is boosted by the video, where the performers appear in isolation. While the song builds up beautifully and most artistes sync well, one drawback is that the voice textures of some singers seem out of place. Some singers could have been excluded as they don’t add value. The hook of course, is catchy enough, and the words instill hope.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Mradul Singhal/ Oceans And Woods, Where Post Rock Dwells

The guitarist of metal bands Schwa and Dead Exaltation, and bassist of Killkount, Mradul Singhal was killed in a road mishap in Pune in March. His EP Beyond : Life was posthumously released this month.

‘Oceans And Woods’ stays away from metal, and is a smartly composed and pleasant instrumental track. Singhal’s acoustic guitar is in conversation with the fretless bass of Brazilian player Samuel Chacon.

The other tracks on the EP fall in a similar, ambient space. Wonderfully played and arranged, it’s perfect music to chill out. Simple and soothing.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Agni Webbed/ The Monster Within, self-released

Back in the early 1990s, Agni was one of the most popular bands on the Indian live rock circuit. It faced a tragedy following the death of bassist Nitin Jagtap (Juggie).and manager Mandar Alurkar (Mandy) in a road accident in 1995.

To mark their 25th death anniversary, Agni singer and composer Bharat Swamy has released the song ‘The Monster Within’, which is about tackling depression.

Recorded and mixed in quarantine, the song boasts of powerful vocals and perfect pitching. Swamy plans to release more songs under the Agni Webbed digital rock venture, and we’re looking forward.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Nikhil D’Souza/ People, self-released

Mumbai singer Nikhil D’Souza has simultaneously released his song ‘People’ in two versions – English and Hindi. The former has the lines, “We’re only people, why can’t we live together?”, and talks of living in peace.

The Hindi version asks “Hum ek se hain, phir kyon yeh faasle hain?” While the composition and Jonathan Quarmby’s instrumentation are first-rate, D’Souza seems more at ease in English. The Hindi take doesn’t sound natural.

The bilingual release may be an interesting experiment, and the Hindi song may have a wider reach. But one wishes he had stuck to English, or spaced out the launch dates.

Rating: 8/ 10 (English)

6/ 10 (Hindi)

 

Lisa Mishra/ Nai Chaida, VYRL Originals

One advantage that Lisa Mishra has is her somewhat different vocal timbre. What she perhaps needed was a bit more feel – both in her singing and acting.

‘Nai Chaida’ is a melodious Punjabi song on long-distance relationships. Lyricist Kunaal Vermaa writes lines like, “Hun mainu kuchh nai chaida nai chaida soniya tere siwaa”.

The video, directed by Karan Boolani, also features Rohan Mehra. Like the song, it’s a pretty routine affair, but its subject and look should appeal to the younger audience.

Rating: 6/ 10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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