Advaita/ In The Air, self-released
Delhi Sufi-rock fusion band Advaita has been on the scene for around 15 years, releasing the albums Grounded In Space and The Silent Sea. Its latest project is a series of singles recorded live at the capital’s Oddbird Theatre last September.
After ‘Milan’ and ‘Kaahe Na Lage’, the group comes up with ‘In The Air’, a seven-minute beauty that begins with the Indian Ocean feel but quickly gets into the trademark Advaita sound. The song uses a Bulleh Shah kalaam, and Hindustani vocalist Ujwal Nagar is in supreme form.
A soothing flute solo, and an English portion sung by Chayan Adhikari lead to an explosive climax. The song rocks.
Rating: 9/ 10
aswekeepsearching/ Rooh, self-released
After attracting a devoted fan following with their albums Khwaab and Zia, Ahmedabad/ Pune post-rock outfit aswekeepsearching is gearing up for the release of its third album Rooh in late September. Led by vocalist Uddipan Sarmah and guitarist Shubham Gurung, the band expands on its earlier sound on the title track ‘Rooh’.
With its recurring melody line, the intro has shades of Death Cab For Cutie, though the group claims to be influenced by God Is An Astronaut and Explosions In The Sky. The guitar-drum coordination is tight.
A highlight is the snazzy black n’ white video directed by Kaushik Sinha and featuring Serena Walia and Shivam Khanna. One looks forward to the rest of the album.
Rating: 8/ 10
Naezy/ Rukta Nah, Big Bang Music and Oneplus
Naved Sheikh, better known as Naezy, is one of the rappers who inspired the film Gully Boy, the other being Divine. He’s been regularly releasing songs for five years and has made a mark on the desi hip-hop circuit.
Naezy’s latest song ‘Rukta Nah’ talks of never giving up despite obstacles. The lines “Nahin main rukne nahin waala, jaake kehdo usne nahin main thakne nahin waala” depict his mood.
The video, a Naezy solo act, has been shot in London. The hitch is that there’s nothing new about its concept – The same steps and body gestures. The kind of stuff one would enjoy a few days and move on.
Dastaan LIVE/ Mat Ro Bachcho, self-released
This is a stunning piece of work. Delhi-based art-rock group Dastaan LIVE use inspiration from the Faiz Ahmed Faiz poem ‘Falastini Bachcho Ke Liye Lori’, and add lyrics on global conflict and separating from one’s family, dark vocals, heavily improvised guitars, a steady build-up and an imagery-filled video with shadow puppetry. Bingo!
The group, which has nine musicians, was initially formed by vocalist-guitarist Sumant Balakrishnan and bassist Anirban Ghosh. It’s popular on the Delhi live circuit and is planning a tour across various Indian cities. Hopefully, this song and the Anant Raina-directed video will reach out.
Rating: 9/ 10
The Doorbeen with Shreya Sharma/ Prada, JJust Music
The Doorbeen seems to have a readymade formula. Name a song after a top brand, use a tune that’s done to death, add a rap portion and package it in a trendy video.
They tasted success with ‘Lamberghini’, based on a Punjabi tappa popularised by Jagjit and Chitra Singh. On ‘Prada’, they choose a Punjabi tune done by hundreds of singers including Panjabi MC on ‘Mundian Toh Bachke Rahi’.
The problem is this one’s a bit noisy, and the singing seems forced. Alia Bhatt’s appearance adds some glam value but that’s it. Might as well go for a ‘Lamberghini’ repeat ride.
Rating: 5/ 10