Rohan Solomon/ We Demand Change, Self-Released
Delhi artiste Rohan Solomon has been one of the most consistent singer-songwriters on the Indian independent music scene. Songs like Make A Change, Dream Girl and Without A Trace have had a certain polish.
Rohan’s latest is a protest song, strongly titled We Demand Change. Talking of a system that’s broken, he hits hard with words like “We demand change, we demand acceptance, we demand change, we demand justice”.
Backed by a steady rhythm and intricate arrangements, Rohan impresses with his emotion-filled voice. The chorus at the end just adds to the impact.
Rating: 8/ 10
Brite Roy, Ishaan Nigam/ O Chaand, Self-Released
There’s something dreamlike and aesthetically pleasing about this effort. Using the moon as the motif, Brite Roy and Ishaan Nigam render O Chaand. Though the video featuring dancers Pankaj Singh and Mahi Sharma seems routine, the song excels.
Brite’s composition bears an influence of Ilaiyaraaja and M.M. Keeravani, and KD’s arrangements are tastefully executed, using clear arpeggios and flowing strings. Vocalists Ishaan and Brite coordinate perfectly.
The lyrics, also by Brite, have lines like “O chaand teri khamoshiyan qaafir ka saaz hai kyon, o chand teri chandni shayar ka raaz hai kyon?”. Overall, it’s a marvellous song that probably needed an out-of-the-box video.
Rating: 9/ 10
Nikitaa/ Wolf, Self-Released
Almost a year ago, singer-songwriter Nikitaa released an acoustic version of her single Goddess, which was quite classy. Brought up in Mumbai and based in Los Angeles, she shows elements of pop and rhythm n’ blues on her latest track Wolf.
The song has an uptempo, clubby feel, and is targeted at young listeners. It may not have the extra spark to stand out, and Adhyan’s video has the standard shots.
Yet, the tune keeps your feet tapping, and it ends up being a catchy pop song, though one could have avoided the sudden ‘Kaun darta hai’ line coming of nowhere in the middle of English words.
Rating: 7/ 10
Sanoli Chowdhury/ A Distant Meadow, United Sound Records
The ambient soundscapes and trip-hop aura is reminiscent of 1990s Brit band Portishead. On the title track of her EP A Distant Meadow, Sanoli Chowdhury adds a contemporary touch, and the track grows on you.
The song opens the five-track EP and sets the mood. Sanoli’s carefully enunciated words blend well with the atmospheric keyboards, acoustic guitar flourishes and subtle rhythms.
Besides four originals, she has rendered a cover of the new wave band Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. It’s a different kind of sound, but if you have a taste for the unusual, this is worth checking.
Rating: 7/ 10
Check out the video here:
Albatross/ The Neptune Murders, Self-Released
Mumbai heavy metal band Albatross talks of a serial killer on its new song The Neptune Murders. The dash of progressive rock adds an anthemic touch.
The screaming vocals by Biprorshee Das go perfectly with the narrative theme penned by Dr Hex, who also plays bass. The guitars by Vigneshkumar Venkatraman and Akash Kar dazzle.
The fabulous drummer Jay Thacker completes the line-up. Finally, Varun Panchal’s video is packed with brilliant visuals. Headbangers will have a ball.
Rating 8/ 10
Prateek Kuhad/ Shehron Ke Raaz, Self-Released
One of the most popular Indian indie artistes, Prateek Kuhad is best known for the songs Cold/ Mess, Pause and Kasoor. Thus, his latest number Shehron Ke Raaz arrives with a lot of expectations.
It’s a typical Prateek creation, with a catchy tune, a piano-Wurlitzer backdrop and trademark vocals. And though you may end up humming the words, there’s little to set it apart, like some of the earlier gems.
Prateek goes in for a simple video, animated by Anjali Kamat. It’s a likeable song, though it may not be as loveable or unique as Kasoor.
Rating: 7/ 10
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