Prateek Kuhad/ Kasoor, Self-Released
Here’s yet another reason to prove why singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad is one of the best independent artistes on the scene. On the video of Kasoor, directed by Dar Gai, he gathers many people to take shots in isolation, and just display their expressions when asked some questions about falling in love.
With the peppy tune and relatable lyrics, the song works wonders, as Kuhad sings, Teri zulfon ki yeh namee, tere aankhon ka yeh nasha; Yahaan kho bhi jaoon to main, kya kasoor hai mera.
The song brings back plenty of nostalgia pleasant, sad or filled with solitude. The harmonies and handclaps suit the mood. And the emotions cut across age groups.
Rating: 9/ 10
Abhinav Saxena/ Indian Sunrise, 1983946 Records DK
After playing with a few rock bands and being inspired by Pink Floyd, Abhinav Saxena got fascinated with the classical guitar. His debut album Look Up & Smile thus consists of instrumental tunes that talk of sunrise, mountains and rivers.
Of the 11 tracks, we chose the second one ‘Indian Sunrise’ for review. The tune has a very folksy and outdoor feel, with a pleasantness that makes you feel relaxed.
Saxena has also learnt vipassana meditation and uses the influence in his music. He says he’s hugely influenced by Toumani Diabate, the Malian musician who plays the stringed instrument kora. The blend gives you soothing pieces of music.
Rating: 7/ 10
Gaanpakhi ft Feyago/ You & I, EI Entertainment
Here’s a wonderful duet that talks about the importance of fighting back. Singer Gaanpakhi teams up with rapper Vik Feyago Sen to create this intense piece.
Cowards die many times before they die, trapped besides all the fear and the lies she begins, with a keyboard in the backdrop. The vocals have traces of Lana Del Rey, and the transition to Feyago’s rap is smooth.
A very short burst of Indian classical notes adds to the charm at the end. A very well-done job, with lyrics that are appealing.
Rating: 9/ 10
Viveick Rajagopalan ft Sveta Kilpady/ Nayya, Self-Released
Mridangam exponent and composer Viveick Rajagopalan teams up with singer Sveta Kilpady on this song that uses a basic classical melody with an energetic rhythm.
The song begins with a Sufi flavour but then uses the traditional lyrics Nayya padi majhdhar, ab maula lagade paar.
There’s a resemblance of Nitin Sawhney and 1990s Asian Underground music, with Shoyon Mukherjee’s bass and Rajagopalan’s percussion combining wonderfully.
Kilpady’s vocals suit the song’s mood perfectly. The combined effect is marvellous.
Rating: 8/ 10
KauRas/ The Gateway, Self-Released
London-based KauRas is a vocal group combining Deepa Nair Rasiya and her daughters Nimrita Kaur and Meera Kaur. The trio has just released The Gateway, an 11-minute piece that uses the sacred syllable “Ram”.
Composed by Nimrita with help from Deepa, the piece begins on a slow meditative mode, and slowly builds up-tempo. With its keyboard backdrop and wonderful vocal coordination, the effect is serene and soothing.
In 2016, the three singers had released Nanak Naam, a wonderful composition using Sikh scriptures. This leaves you with a similar feeling.
Rating: 8/ 10
Subhi/ Naqaab, Self-Released
Indo-American singer Subhi shot the video of her latest release Naqaab in isolation. The song talks about unfulfilled desires, how people use a ‘mask’ to hide things and of letting the world see one’s real persona.
Subhi starts shakily in the semi-spoken intro, but the composition picks up after a while when she sings Naqaab mein reh gaye hum. The piano backdrop lends some meat to the song.
Her diction needs work, though, as some words seem forced. Yet, it’s a sincere effort.
Rating: 7/ 10
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