By Ranjini Achuthan
We pick 10 fine releases from October. While some experimentations resulted in magic, others aced debut releases and new territories; ergo, the month’s list is a heady mix of predominantly jazz and funk along with electronic synth heavy tracks, lo-fi vibes, dance numbers and dark, emotional ballads.
Thermal And A Quarter - Tilt
Tilt by the veterans is unlike most TAAQ songs, yet has the signature TAAQ quality to it. Mostly acoustic with some tasty electric guitar portions by Tony, the track is a delightful take on change of perspectives, finding the balance and understanding that there is not much in our control or is there?
Tejas - Bombay Doors
Tejas says that Bombay is much like the Bomb Bay aboard military aircrafts that takes a beating every day at war. Just like the city of chaos, struggle and hustle, the song is an intrinsically layered mix of slap & pop elements, funk, synth and lo-fi along with retro dance vibes.
The Revisit Project - Locked Away
Locked Away talks about the new normal in the most laid back manner with pop funk elements leading up to a clean guitar solo, saxophone section and bass solo as well. Vrnda Dhar is easy going on the vocals and as the band sit together in contemplation and jam, we are bound to feel sucked in the existential questions of survival, rights and wrongs!
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya - Red
Sanjeeta treads a bold new path with neo soul and hip hop as she teams withMalagasy singer-songwriter Niu Raza, Boston based guitarist/producer Aman Sagar and Delhi based producer Pranay Parti. The result is a groovy, sensual play with Malagasy and English rap portions by Niu and Sanjeeta interlaced between a saucy melody.
Kamakshi Khanna - Qareeb
Choruses, trumpet sound sections and soft keys cooks up an R&B vibe on Kamakshi Khanna’s first ever Hindi single Qareeb. The effervescent singing by Kamakshi is an expression of gratitude for every opportunity to love and underlines the message that the most important relationship is the one that you have with yourself. The singer songwriter has teamed up with her staple guitarist Pranav Pahwa and duo Anhad + Tanner on production.
Aneesha - Uncertainty
Aneesha Dass from New Delhi debuts with electronic neo soul pop record that talks about how the pandemic has dawned new realizations upon humanity and humbled the species into surrender, resilience and hope. Aneesha teams with the dynamic electronic artist duo of Tech Panda and Kenzani to create a calming experience with lot of ambient elements that are spacey, drifting and ethereal.
Heat Sink - Judgement
With Judgement, the vocal duet of Protyay Chakraborty and Meera Desai is in fine form staying true to their jazz influences. There is enough time for all the members of the band to shine as the six-minute song deals with identity and seeing one’s own problems in a new light, a more mature way. The highlights of the track are the elaborate keyboard and violin solos by Nayan Kapadia and Protyay.
Aditi Ramesh - Sambar Soul
The versatile singer – songwriter flaunts her jazz expertise as she takes a sharp detour to shift scales for a while in the song. Aditi Ramesh stays out of any Carnatic hues in this outing and talks passionately and light heartedly, both at the same time, about the futility of labels and the beauty of being unconventional, breaking rules and just following one’s heart.
The Light Years Explode - Mellow
Mellow is, well, not mellow. It’s straight outta a retro disco dance floor, high spirited, fun and flashy. The track has a small solo section that sounds like a kazoo at work but is not. Synth and drums are prominent and adds to the colour and vibe of the song. You don’t have a choice but dance to the latest by The Light Years Explode.
Gowtham Lenin - Suicide Song
Kerala based musician cum cinematographer Gowtham Lenin who has a band called Astral Cars has released his first solo song, the theme for which is as dark as it can get. The idea was born out of a film story that a friend narrated to him. What started off as a guitar riff developed into a lilting melody with a soft under layer of piano and cello portions.
The song is a melancholic contemplation about existence and the question “Why live a lie?” that ultimately results in the character giving up on life. The song was released on Mental Health Day and is a quiet remembrance to lives lost due to mental illness and suicides.