Updated: Feb 9
By Ranjini Achuthan
We look back upon the first month of 2021 with a wide smile upon our faces courtesy, a bunch of few brilliant releases. The legend Marty Friedman collaborates with Antariksh. US based Manas Jha collaborates with Keshav Dhar. From evocative carnatic to upbeat jazz, prog to industrial metal, dance electronica to acoustic melodies; the list is just what we have hoped for. It’s safe to say that the scene is off to a banger of a start!
Innum Enna - Siennor
The singer songwriter plays it right up his own alley with this breezy, simple song, the music video to which begins with the quote, “Love is feared. It dissolves society, its unpopular and its very rare.”
Prathamaha - Rohan Raveesh ft. Swaraj S Manohar & Petrucci
Carnatic guitar play shines in this simple melodic instrumental track. The lo-fi sound adds a sense of nostalgia and on a whole, Prathamaha makes for a soothing, stress relief listen.
Timezones - Sicra ft. Sai Menon
We dug this hidden gem out to get on board a journey through Time zones as the artist contemplate about a probable simulated matrix like existence and the new age. Good use of synth heavy melodic rap with a strong lyrical groove makes this one a great listen.
Strange Cities - Fuzz Culture
Arsh Sharma takes on a new avatar as he officially goes solo with the Fuzzculture. The EP is dance electronica all the way with catchy melodies, repetitive choruses, synth, guitars, piano and vocals all coming together for a riot of tracks that lingers in the mind long after the EP gets over.
Kanakana - Project Mishram
The classic Pancharatna Kriti Kanakana Ruchira has been given a metal reinterpretation by the band replete with growling English vocals by Kieran McLaughlin, better known as Kmac2021 thrown in the mix. The track is an explosive tribute to the genius of Tyagaraja. Miss this at your own risk.
Bechain - Dhi Harmony
This drum and bass (DnB) electronic track by Tanmoy Guha has its foundation firmly in the Indian classical sound featuring Sarangi played by artist Mayank Rathore. The music video is a bold and powerful throwback to the history of social evils like Sati, Child Marriage and Widow Re-marriage that plagued the Indian society of the 1850s.
Quest - Antariksh ft. Marty Friedman
An out and out prog rock song that aims to seamlessly blend Indian and western musical influences of the band, Quest is one of the most talked about songs at the start of 2021 with the legendary guitarist Marty Friedman appearing with a face melting guitar solo. The track also features a sitar solo by the Parikrama fame Dhruv Bedi.
I’ll be With You - Apartment Upstairs
This collaboration heavy track is quite an arresting listen, be it the sax by Abhay Sharma, the rap verse by Oran Brahma or the groovy and funky change of pace in the later half of the song. Jazz works like a charm with this song about two men hopelessly in love.
Gentle Scars - Groove Bot ft. Siddharth Basrur
Dark and fast, industrial rock sound is on fine display be it the audio or the video for Gentle Scars. The ambient synth layers under abrasive metal riffs sounds like a perfect background score for a dystopian world ravaged by wars between humans and cyborgs.
Nukkad Closed - Manas Jha ft Keshav Dhar
“Kya mein ab bhi hun wahi.. raha na khud pe hi yakeen”, the lone hindi line in the song by US based musician Manas Jha braves the risks to voice the conundrum surrounding the death of Garima Kothari, a celebrated chef based out of New Jersey. The song deep dives into the turbulence surrounding the tragedy and is a powerful eulogy with its progressive heavy rock sound featuring Keshav Dhar gliding on for a strong 6 minutes cathartic experience.