Updated: Aug 17
In our latest roundup of songs released in July, we find young artists who showcase a maturity that certainly proves age isn’t exactly the best qualifier for anything. We also find seasoned artists emerge with new material, unhindered (if not even more encouraged) by the pandemic-related remote work ethic.
You Don’t Have To – Peekay ft Jonathan Edward
Ever the intriguing artist with a visual and sonic statement to make on each release, Hyderabad artist Peekay (Pranati Khanna) teams up once again with producer Jonathan Edward for a instantly memorable earworm called You Don’t Have To. It bears a subtle mark of Peekay’s reggae-leaning vocal influences but past that, there’s a striking music video to go with it, in which she holds a straight face and doll figure-like actions to tell a (likely former) partner that there’s no need to be overbearing.
Kohra – MOIN ft Roshan Bhat, Elsewhere
Mumbai-based drummer and produce Moin Farooqui brings in friends from the Mumbai scene on his latest single Kohra which aims for that breathtaking realm of post-rock that’s also arena-ready. He’s joined by Roshan Bhat on vocals, guitarist Aditya Mohanan from metal band Midhaven and instrumental rock band Across Seconds’ bassist Kiran Kadadekar.
Gudgudi – Gayathri Raman ft Pavithra Viswabarathy
An astrophysicist by profession, singer-songwriter Gayathri Raman looks inward on her debut single with fellow sin ger Pavithra Viswabarathy, Gudgudi. It’s a swaying, cinematic love song that could do well to fit into any film soundtrack, acting as the score to a montage of an unfolding romance. But the artists leave this to our imagination, with honest and effective flourishes of ukulele and string arrangements by producer Siddhant Mishra.
Why – Kiara Chettri
Although the single was released in June, New Delhi singer-songwriter Kiara Chettri’s Why got a sparkling, pop perfected music video in July. Home videos collide with the slick cinematographic frames in the visual directed by Tito. The video takes a song of catharsis – produced by Rohan Solomon – and gives it the emphatic push it needs, the melodramatic sound mirrored in arresting visuals featuring 17-year-old Chettri at her most openhearted yet.
To the parents of antisocial teenagers – krtvi
Between low whispers and drawn out pop vocal melodies, singer-songwriter Krtvi Nambiar’s debut single To the parents of antisocial teenagers pushes and pulls in turns in one of the most honest conversations we’ve heard this year. The mellow pop production serves as a vehicle for Krtvi’s sublime vocals about generational gaps and the care and love she reserves for her parents despite the ups and downs they’ve endured together.
Fear & Loathing – Cartel Madras
Indian-origin Canadian hip-hop duo Cartel Madras and producer Dom Dias get into gear on their latest single Fear & Loather. The swerving beats dip in and out of atmospheric elements, as Contra and Eboshi are reference everything from the Hunter S. Thompson cult work, Chennai and set the stage for the thematic universe of their new project The Serpent & The Tiger. The video adds a whole other dimension, oscillating between a story of revenge and terror.
Jadoogari – Anand Bhaskar Collective
On their latest single from their upcoming EP Ufaq, Mumbai’s Anand Bhaskar Collective take another step in the direction of pop-rock but keep things exciting for existing fans with clever guitar work. Bhaskar’s distinctly charming Urdu vocals go over guitarist Hrishi Giridhar’s flittering melodies, over understated rhythms by bassist Neelkanth Patel and drummer Shishir Tao and violinist Ajay Jayanthi. Keeping their release game strong, there’s a (literally) out-of-this-world fantastical music video to go with it.
Ae Dil – Madmast
Mumbai band Madmast open their discography with a somber, severe statement about mental health and personal growth on Ae Dil. Weaved in together with a music video that follows a visual artist as they overcome obstacles at home to break free, Madmast keep things lilting and poetic on their debut single. There’s splashes percussive flair, pensive keyboard portions, catchy choral vocals and searing guitar leads. All in all, a powerful statement from a band who are now prepping to release their debut album Gumshuda Ki Talaash.
Neeye Oli – Shan Vincent de Paul, Navz-47, Santhosh Narayanan
With the latest release from AR Rahman-backed label maajja, there’s an indication of a much more diverse direction than what may have been expected by those who reveled in the success of Enjoy Enjaami. Composer-producer Santhosh Narayanan returns, this time with firebrand Tamil-Canadian hip-hop artists Shan Vincent de Paul and Navz-47. The Tamil-English song is a knockout – and we’re not just saying that because it’s part of the boxing-centric film Sarpatta Parambarai. While Navz-47 brings forward bolstering Tamil verses, Shan Vincent de Paul acts as a mirror, going full speed with his no holds barred English rap.
Tale of a Madman's World – Nangsan (feat. Nishant Hagjer)
“I am the hateful, cast out from the herd,” growls Nangsan Lyngwa, the Shillong-based seasoned metal artist best known for his work with death metal juggernaut Plague Throat. After pursuing a couple of other projects, his solo work gets a push with his debut single Tale of a Madman’s World. It’s deftly intense and we have the buzzsaw riffage to credit for that, as well as Nangsan’s decision to bring in Guwahati drummer Nishant Hagjer (formerly of Undying Inc) to smash through the track.