By Ranjini Achuthan
November brought with its cool pleasing weather, some heartwarming, heart wrenching, exquisite melodies along with some Carnatic jazz, hip hop, indie/electronic and even middle eastern vibes to make up for a versatile rundown of music from across the country.
Sukoo.n - Samar Mehdi
Blanket Energy is the phrase that Samar Mehdi employs to describe this wondrous lullaby like piece that awakens all the motherly love and empathy one might have towards a loved one who is in pain. “It’s about the kind of love that makes you want to show up for them like how a lullaby makes a baby sleep and let go of things that they were holding on to, in their little arms.” This simple yet poignant and emotionally loaded, stunning melody is an acoustic track comprising mostly of keyboard and vocals, mixing and mastering for which has been aced by Aman Arakh. The artwork has been done by Aditi Mittal.
The Mountain King - Dhruv Visvanath
With The Mountain King, Dhruv Visvanath is in his element with a larger than life vibe as the song declares the rightful place of the Mountain King, the man, the infallible. An absolute delight of a composition, the song is rich, as can be expected, sonically, with his quintessential heavy percussive guitar layers, harmonies, choruses, drum portions, synth and keys all of which has been programmed by Dhruv himself much like he has done for his huge bank of tracks of 2020. The song is in the news for having been featured in the Hindi Netflix series/movie Taish directed by Bejoy Nambiar and marks the crazy independent musician’s debut in tinsel town.
Distancing - whiteParc
whiteParc based out of Kolkata/Pune is essentially the third outing by Amartya Ghosh as a band after his stint with two other acts in the past. The debut EP has Amartya Ghosh teaming up with his ex-bandmate Mikhail Khan for a sound that is an exciting mix of indie/electronic genre. There are three tracks in the EP, “Tell Me”, “Worry” and “Conspiracy” that are all synth heavy along with a heady mix of indie rock and R&B. Instantly likeable, groovy, breezy and at times intense, Distancing is an addictive choice of an EP for any hour of the day, week, month or let’s just say the whole year?
When I’m Gone - Vian Fernandes
When I’m gone is a contemplative take on life and what’s beyond, by Mumbai based singer songwriter and guitarist Vian Fernandes who is best known as the bassist of the hugely popular band Thaikkudam Bridge. Vian has been consistently putting out his solo work ever since the lockdown and his latest release is a soothing, melodic piece of music that features beautiful vocals by singer Rahel Dutt. One striking aspect of the song is the layer of melodica played by Siddharth Kulkarni that persists in the background almost like a spiritual touch. Electric guitars by Pradeep Pande and drums by Prince John contributes to the melancholic highs towards the end of the track. The song is from Vian’s upcoming album Half Life and has a beautiful lyrical video to boot created by Sugandha Bansal.
Rains of July - The Illegal Project
Rains of July is synth heavy but never feels like one. It’s a striking debut that wins on every level be it the concept, the instrumentation, vocal harmonies that is very 70s/80s and the overall vibe that the song emits; one that makes you sit and reminisce, almost nostalgic. The song strikes a chord with the listener and that is all that matters, at the end of the day. The duo from Kolkata makes it a point to deliver what the song promises: rich ambient sound of rain and nature amidst layers of analog drums, keyboards and acoustic guitar swooshing in and out along with that pulsating bassline and arpeggio-esque backing. But the track has a persistent sort of progression that goes on for more than 6 minutes and stays with you long after the track is over.
Djinn (Dune) - Bonny Abraham
Kerala based multi-instrumentalist and music producer Bonny Abraham is out with the first single from his debut album Dune. The track, called Djinn with its authentic middle eastern sensibilities is a sonic journey through the vast ocean-sand of Arabic music. Bonny showcases his expertise with the unique and stirring play on Oud whereas Yadu Krishnan on vocals does complete justice to the flavor of the musical genre being explored. The track that could still be considered a fresh new sound for the Indian ear, in spite of the exposure
to world music in this digital age, checks all the right boxes for the listener to unravel the cultural moorings of the land beyond the Mediterranean.
I Can’t Go Back To Sleep - Tanmaya Bhatnagar
The latest release by the Delhi based singer songwriter is all melancholy and heart. A mellow yet layered arrangement makes this a pensive indulgence. The kind one needs to vent out emotions deep down. The track has keyboards by Rishabh Sanghi, guitars, bass and drums by Amar Pandey, cello and harmonies by Aarant Sarangi and arrangement by Reuksh Alagh. The track has been produced by Utkarsh Varma and mixed and mastered by Sidharth Gupta.
Pieces to Keep - Krishna.K
Ukulele and Krishna.K whips up a light hearted, breezy love song that comes and goes like a short but stirring visit of around 2 minutes. The minimal arrangement is the USP of the track and the harmonies and humming make for a brisk listen. The Chennai based singer songwriter writes about heartbreak and how even when people separate, they will always have pieces of one another to keep. The artwork for the song has been done by Akriti Sharma.
Thoppai Vibes - Jatayu
The latest offering by Jatayu, the Chennai based Carnatic Jazz Fusion band is right up their ally and in their comfort zone. The beautiful carnatic guitar lead by Shylu Ravindran begins like a question and goes on to form the crux of the song, takes the jazz route in order to play on unrestrained until the end. The understated violin play by Akash Ganesh and drums by Manu Krishnan gives ample support to the overall vibe of the song. It’s as good as it gets with what one expects from Jatayu.
King - JVish
Jay Visvanath has music running in the family. The young hip hop artist based out of Delhi has released his debut in grand style lyrically and musically with the production helmed by his super famous brother, ace musician Dhruv Visvanath. The track is super groovy and spirited. The rhymes and reasons of the lyrics points to a man in soliloquy, talking to the self, facing his fears and finding his foot in the big bad world saturated with dreams and ambitions.