Brotha V/ Vaishnava Jana To, self-released
It’s got protest, meaning and depth. Clearly, Bengaluru rapper Brotha V’s ‘Vaishnava Jana To’ is one of the most hard-hitting songs in a while.
With a two-in-one music system as the video motif, Brotha V questions the system fearlessly, talking of “fascists or nepotists” and “mascots of God, with a passion for fraud”. Aishwarya Rangarajan sings the opening lines of the famous bhajan ‘Vaishnava Jana To’, used in the right moments.
The lines “Hey Allah, hey Rabb, hey Ram, tere thekedar hai kyon badnaam” sum up the wrath, and Sujish Das’s video hits hard. A Bob Dylan influence, turned into rap.
Rating: 10/ 10
Jonita Gandhi and Arjun Harjai/ Humraahi, OnePlus Playback
Indo-Canadian singer Jonita Gandhi has a pleasant voice and sings in different languages. Though known for being a regular with A.R. Rahman, she’s maintained a balance between film and non-film work.
On her new single ‘Humraahi’, Gandhi teams up with singer-composer Arjuna Harjai, who’s been around for a while without any major hit. It’s a cute and vibrant song that evokes feelings of positivity and romance. Geet Sagar’s lyrics are fresh, though one wonders why Harjai tries to copy Arijit Singh.
The video, directed by Angshuman Ghosh, blends live shots with animated effects. Overall, ‘Humraahi’ is teenager-friendly, and hummable for a while.
Rating: 7/ 10
Talat Aziz and Sanjeevani Bhelande/ Ranjish Hi Sahi, self-released
Poet Ahmed Faraz’s ghazal ‘Ranjish Hi Sahi’ is best known for the hugely popular rendition by Pakistani maestro Mehdi Hassan. Based on raag Yaman, it has been interpreted by various singers.
Now, senior artiste Talat Aziz and talented singer Sanjeevani Bhelande appear on a video of the song. Vocally, they show good coordination, retaining the original’s feel.
Recreated by Prashant Thackeray, the version features pianist Ameya Desai and guitarist Chintoo Singh Wasir. Hopefully, it should expose youngsters to this timeless song.
Rating: 8/ 10
Vade ft Awedi/ You For Sure, Sterling Reserve Music Project
Electronic producer and songwriter Vade makes his debut with ‘You For Sure’, a peppy dance number featuring singer Awedi. It’s a cool track perfect for the club, and aided by a chilled-out video.
Dancers Eden Pereira and Sonakshi Amitabh produce perfect dance steps on the film directed by Sahir Raza and choreographed by Kush Gupta.
The lines, “Staring at your body got my temperature going up, can you feel my vibes just like I’m feeling you, it’s you for sure” have that sing-along feel. Perfect for the electronic dance music crowd.
Rating: 9/ 10
Ram Sampath/ DaanUtsav, OmGrown Music
Daan Utsav is the festival of giving, celebrated between October 2 and 8. To mark this, composer Ram Sampath has come out with this simple piece that the masses can relate to.
Ginny Diwan’s words “Daan Utsav, pyaar ka utsav hai yeh, utsav hai yeh ji; Daan Utsav, dil se tum deke dekho, deke dekho hi jee” summarise the song’s mood, and the video should be enjoyed by family audiences.
One only wishes the song was a bit longer. At barely two minutes, it just comes and goes.
Rating: 7/ 10
Easy Wanderlings/ Beneath The Fireworks, self-released
Pune group Easy Wanderlings made news in 2017 with their album As Written In The Stars. Now, they come out with two tracks ‘Beneath The Fireworks’ and ‘Madeline’, as part of their EP My Place To You.
On ‘Beneath The Fireworks’, composer and lyricist Sanyanth Naroth comes up with deep and impactful lines talking of an existential crisis. Vocalists Sharad Rao and Pratika Gopinath blend perfectly, and the animated video matches the mood.
Electric and acoustic guitar, violin and flute blend perfectly with the song’s plot. A case of good songwriting, good execution.
Rating: 8/ 10