Purbayan Chatterjee/ Sukoon (Catharsis), Sufiscore
One of the highlights of Sukoon (Catharsis), the second piece from sitar exponent Purbayan Chatterjee’s album Unbounded (Abaad), is the presence of tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, and vocalists Gayatri Asokan and Thana Alexa.
An interaction between ghazal and lounge jazz, it also features bassist Michael League of the group Snarky Puppy and Mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez. The musicians record their parts in different locations but maintain coherence.
While Gayatri sings Rehana Qamar’s line “Aansuon mein bahaa diya hai tumhe, Maine rokar gavaa diya hai tumhe”, Thana has smart scat portions. The virtuosity of Purbayan and Zakir adds to the charm.
Rating: 8/ 10
Arindam Tripathi/ Is Roshni Mein, Self-Released
Born in West Bengal, Arindam Tripathi grew up in Delhi, where he got exposed to the local music circuit. On his single Is Roshni Mein, he opts for a pleasant ballad-like song seemingly inspired by Shaan and Silk Route.
The song has been well-produced by Rishi Panda, with vibrant guitars and percussion. It’s about enjoying nature in a solitary state, and the video shows lush landscapes appropriately.
The catch phrase “Is roshni mein gum ho jaaye” sums up the song’s mood. While this tune is pleasant, one hopes in the future, Arindam gets over the Shaan hangover.
Rating: 7/ 10
Vasundhara Vee/ Run, Self-Released
On her new song Run, Vasundhara Vee is joined by producer-composer Dhruv Ghanekar. Known for her jazz, soul, and rhythm n’ blues numbers, the singer sticks to soul-pop here.
After a short intro about the end of a relationship, she talks of reanimating and building her way back. “With all of me, to a place of peace, let me run run run run run”, she sings.
Vasundhara’s powerful voice and natural phrasing, accompanied by Neuman Pinto’s backing vocals, create an impact. This song should be perfect for a live setting too.
Rating: 8/ 10
Pallavi Ishpunuyani/ Tere Wangu, Self-Released
In her fifth original single, Pallavi Ishpuniyani sings about separation and longing. She has a pleasant voice, which goes with the song’s contemporary folk-pop feel.
Lyricist Kumar Sagar opts for lengthy verses, which need patience and careful listening. The main line, “Lai ho gayee main tere wangu tere kain te, kyun bolda nahin tu yaara mere kain te” is catchy and sticks with you.
Though Sandeep Thakre’s video makes pleasant use of picturesque seaside and outdoor locales, it’s a bit routine and doesn’t really add value. On its own, the song is worth a listen.
Rating: 6/ 10
Ketan Mohite/ Manzil, Self-Released
Singer-songwriter Ketan Mohite has been releasing songs on travel, hope, and introspection for a while, often using simple structures and melodic guitars. His latest Manzil focuses on travel.
Though the subject has been done to death by many musicians, Ketan attracts with his simplicity. Lines like “Manzil naye hain, jaana kahin hai, khwabon ko tere, paana kahin hai” are relatable, though predictable.
Kalyan Baruah’s production gives it a fine edge, but the ending is rather sudden. Ketan is set to release the single Paani next week. It’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.
Rating: 6/ 10
Aman Moroney ft Prateeksha Srivastava/ Jeeya Kaanch Ka, Springboard Records
One of the most talented producers on the scene, Aman Moroney teams up with singer Prateeksha Srivastava on this melody-filled ride. Using zulfein, payal, jhumke and kaanch as metaphors, it talks of the desire to be wooed.
The song has a mid-1990s feel, with vibrant interludes. “Paayal toh chhodo kissa baat ka hai jiya kaanch ka hai,” writes lyricist Shayra, about a girl complaining of her partner’s naivette and indifference.
The balance between the singing and orchestration is just right, and Prateeksha’s throw and expression are commendable.
Rating: 8/ 10
Shan Vincent de Paul/ Made In Jaffna, Majjaa
Best known for the rap on the Tamil-English hit Neeye Oli, Toronto-based rapper Shan Vincent de Paul has released his album Made In Jaffna. The title track is autobiographical, talking of his journey.
It’s a protest song, with Jaffna-born Shan expressing his angst against organized religion and education. He also talks of how he found solace in hip-hop acts Outkast, Andre Benjamin, and DMX.
The video was shot in a field in Chennai. And while the lyrics are blunt and personal, the rapping style gets a bit repetitive after a point. A few twists would have been welcome.