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Indie music releases from the first have of june 2020- Reviewed

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Tauseef Akhtar and Cheryl Balwani/ Rain, Asli Music

Ghazal exponent Tauseef Akhtar has collaborated with singer Cheryl Balwani on this fusion track, aptly titled ‘Rain’. It’s a catchy tune with a vibrant rhythm, and both singers take turns in vocals.

While Akhtar shows his command over the Indian classical nuances, Balwani’s English words “Rain, come and give us love, just make this world a better place, we need a bright tomorrow” are perfect to hum along. Farhan Rais Khan’s sitar and Abhilash Phukan’s guitarwork enhance the fusion experience.

A highlight is Karan Vaidya’s video, depicting outdoor locales, rain shots and animals in open fields. The entire effort is marvellously coordinated.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

EPR Iyer/ A Syrian Lullaby, Adiacot Entertainment

A rapper from Kolkata, EPR Iyer has come out with the album Protest Poetry, whose title is self-explanatory. The lyrics are a mix of personal expression, political statements and even a song on the pandemic. Musically, while the base is hip-hop, one finds reggae, Indian folk, world music and Italian protest (the song ‘Bella Ciao’) on some tunes.

The album has 17 tunes, and for review, we chose ‘A Syrian Lullaby’ because of its hard-hitting anti-war message. “Kitnon ki hai maut aur kitnon ki hai baaki, rang laal rakht ki nadi”, sings Iyer, before referring to the grim political and strife-torn situation in various parts of the world. It’s a powerful and thought-provoking song, like many other tunes on the album.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Tapas/ Azadiyaan, self-released

Last year, Mumbai Hindi-rock band Tapas released the marvellous number ‘Udaan’. They continue the great form on their recent three-track EP Jazb.

The opening number ‘Azadiyaan’ builds up beautifully with vocalist Ninad Bhat singing, “Kyon yaadein teri tadpaaye, kyon saansein meri mujhse judaa ho jaaye, kyon gumshuda, kyon hai tu khafa bewajah.”

Bhat has a natural range and fabulous pitching, and is aided by outstanding guitaring by Akshay Redekar and Reagan Almeida. Bassist Akhil Sindhwani, keyboardist-producer Adwait Sawant and drummer Joshua D’Souza complete the team. The song grows on you.

Rating: 9/ 10

 

Lakshya Bhatnagar/ Mumbai Meri Jaan, self-released

Singer-songwriter Lakshya Bhatnagar has recently releásed his debut EP Kal Aaj Aur Kal. The six Hindi songs have an easy pop-rock feel and should attract the younger audience.

One of the numbers, ‘Mumbai Meri Jaan’ celebrates life in the metropolis. Starting with local train announcements, it talks of the desire to fulfil dreams. Lines like “Yahaan signal ki ijaazaton se public chalti hai” reflect the city’s lifestyle.

Controlled guitaring and good pacing drive this peppy tune.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Barbie Rajput/ Le Chal Mujhe, self-released

Originally from Himachal Pradesh and now settled in Mumbai, Barbie Rajput has earlier recorded songs in English. Now, she releases ‘Le Chal Mujhe’ in Hindi, and shows she’s comfortable in both languages.

Rajput has a melodious voice, and uses a mellow orchestral backdrop which adds to the feel without dominating the tune. The words “Le chal mujhe, maine kaha, le chal muhe, maine kaha, makhmal si aahein labzon ko baante” are sung expressively.

The song has an early 1970s Hindi film music feel. One only wishes it didn’t end so suddenly.

Rating: 8/ 10

 

Tejas/ Lead, Misfits Inc

To build up the release of his forthcoming album Outlast, singer-songwriter Tejas Menon has released the single ‘Lead’. A simple pop-rock song with a strong hook, the best thing is that it has a theme that the young audience will identify with.

“Show me where I’ve got to lead, cause I’d never know to follow,” sings Tejas, accompanied by guitars, synths, trumpet, trombone and assorted percussion. In terms of songwriting, everything falls in place. It’s an uplifting and inspirational song, much needed in these times.

Rating: 8/ 10

Narendra Kusnur

Author: Narendra Kusnur

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