Nyasa/ Charkhe, Springboard Records
The brainchild of Nilesh Salunkhe and Vaibhav Ramteke, Nyasa specialises in earthy, folk-based music. On Charkhe, they team up with singer Gaurav Chati to talk of a person’s journey from birth to death and beyond.
The song uses an interesting range of folk instruments like the gubgubi, chonkha, tumbi and dhol, besides guitar and mandolin. Nilesh and Gaurav share singing credits. The sound is raw, and while it brings out the charm of traditional India, retains a contemporary flavour.
Producer Aman Moroney does a commendable job, and the song grows on repeat listening.
Rating: 8/ 10
Ampliano/ Transcience, self-released
Delhi-based Abhimanyu Pratap aka Ampliano has released Transcience, the first single from his EP Freeze. The instrumental takes the ambient/ new age route, and is filled with a melodic electronic piano and vibrant synthesisers.
The track tackles the subject of duality and transition, and Ishan Mohan’s video uses footage linking the black ‘n’ white past with the electro modern scenario, using change as the theme.
The song exudes an energy that builds up smoothly. Add to that a club feel, and the tune lingers.
Rating: 7/ 10
Hitesh Rikki Madan/ Break Ke Baad, self-released
Here’s a very relatable song about a person’s daily dilemma of whether to exercise or go on a food binge with extra cheese. Hitesh Rikki Madan, guitarist of the bands Euphoria and Eka, gets into singing and composing and comes up with a catchy tune here.
The lyrics, credited to Madan, his wife Payal and Manish Dhawan, begin with the lines, “Calories counting, running, jogging, forget it aaj, do it break ke baad” but end up talking of a desire to work out.
A highlight is the guitar tone, both at the start and during the solo. This will keep you humming.
Rating: 7/ 10
Charu Hariharan and Panos/ Flight Of Joy, Women Of Rhythm
Percussionist Charu Hariharan teams up with Greek drummer Panos Vassilopoulos on this marvellous crossover collaboration. Set in raag Charukesi to a nine-beat cycle, Flight Of Joy is a brilliant example of drum coordination.
Charu plays mridangam, cajon and aludu, besides reciting konnakol and singing the main melody. Joined by bassist Vagu Mazan and American keyboardist Julian Schoming, they come up with a clear winner.
The video features the four musicians playing virtually in different locations. The combined effect is perfect.
Rating: 9/ 10
Amar/ Antaheen, self-released
Though he’s been playing for over 20 years, Pune-based Amar stayed away from recording because of his corporate job. He’s finally released Antaheen, the first of a series of singles.
The pop-rock song is marked by intense lyrics, talking of existentialism, detachment and quest for inner peace. Spoken stretches are used at intervals to narrate the subject.
Written and composed by Amar, the song has been produced by Gandhaar Amin, with guitars by Vinay Kaushal. The crescendo leaves you on a high.
Rating: 8/ 10
NiShant Singh feat. Vaibhav Singh/ Alvida, Suno!
Involved in theatre as a director and composer, Delhi-based NiShant Singh also likes to create songs. On Alvida, he teams up with Mumbai-based singer-composer Vaibhav Singh.
The result is a bittersweet song about how a couple deals with suddenly having to be in a long-distance relationship. The song is melancholic yet melodious, reminding you of late 1990s Indipop ballads and Silk Route.
The video, starring NiShant and Tejaswini Bhatt, has a sadness that goes with the theme. it’s a sad song that works, though there are portions where the vocals could have been more heartfelt.