Type to search

Best Ever Lists Home Flashbox News & Updates

10 Best Indian Singles of 2017

All the sonic gems that stood out for their superlative music and lyrics

Rolling Stone India Jan 10, 2018

The title track from Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Mali’s debut EP 'Rush' likens love to a drug. Photo: Soumya Iyer

Share this:

1. Parvaaz – “Shaad”

Bengaluru rock band Parvaaz previewed, road-tested and reworked “Shaad” for about two years before they released it with a multi-layered, open-ended music video story portraying rural and urban life (directed by filmmaker Gokul Chakravarthy). This is just the right timeline for a band that has a microscopic attention to detail in songwriting. And in the end, every flourish, every melody and harmony comes together just as you want. Leave it to Parvaaz to sate fans waiting on an album with just a five-minute single.

Hear the song below:

2. Mali – “Rush”

The title track from Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Mali’s debut EP likens love to a drug and how one can get addicted and keep going back to it. The song holds together well with a strong bass line and subtle electric guitar plucking. Acoustic guitar and intense percussion also feature heavily on the track. Mali’s vocals hit all the right spots on this song with a delicate restrain during the verses and a soaring intensity during the chorus.

Hear the song below:

3. Aerate Sound – “Down Baby Down” ft Smokey the Ghost

Bengaluru audio-visual electronic/hip-hop duo Aerate Sound have (deservedly) had a good year, from playing at global gig series Boiler Room to finding exactly the right pulsing beat that pleases hip-hop and electronic fans on their debut album Only For External. The jewel in the crown? Their chasmic-beat driven funky track “Down Baby Down,” featuring a few surefire verses from rapper Smokey the Ghost. If you needed a motto to live by, listen to Smokey sing, “My middles go up, I never will fall.”

Hear the song below:

4. Dhruv Visvanath – “Jungle”

Almost out of the categorizations of “singer-songwriter” and “percussive/fingerstyle guitarist,” New Delhi’s Dhruv Visvanath is now pretty much an acoustic pop and rock artist. The proof is in the hooks which dominate his latest single “Jungle,” off his upcoming 2018 release The Lost Cause.
Visvanath looks inward like never before and emerges with a song that is among the most elevating you’ll hear in a while. Yes, he still retains that base of working the guitar, but bringing his soaring voice to the fore is what allows “Jungle” to give any listener goosebumps.

Also See  Mir Kashif Iqbal Scales Jazz/Prog Levels on Debut Album ‘Peak Wave Descent’

Hear the song below:

5. Undying Inc. – “Alpha Absolute”

If there’s anyone who can understand chaos and interpret it, it’s New Delhi metallers Undying Inc. Charging on despite a line up change that shook things up momentarily, they scale BPM levels, insanely horrific melodic progressions and break into grooves when you least expect it. It’s almost too much to take in, but much like U.K. modern metal pioneers SikTh, you can’t stop listening. In the last 40 seconds alone, Undying Inc. lay waste like no other band in the country.

Hear the song below:

6. Nush Lewis – “Spilt Milk”

Mumbai-based harpist/vocalist Nush Lewis goes down the contemporary pop route on “Spilt Milk” with just the right amount of melancholic edge. The track’s contrast between dark, heavy synth and bass, and lighter plucks of Lewis’ harp create an almost tango-esque feel that replicates an emotional war within oneself. Given its complexity, it is a little hard to believe “Spilt Milk” is actually the first song Lewis ever wrote, back in 2011.

Hear the song below:

7. Chrms – “Heart Rates” ft. Zoya

Mumbai-based producer Veer Kowli aka Chrms’ artistry follows in the future bass footsteps of Australian producer Flume and it’s pretty impressive when you realize the former is only 16-years old. With the addition of singer-songwriter Zoya’s breathy vocals to its intricate, twinkling and slightly mournful instrumentals, “Heart Rates” is a little bit like what you would imagine a collaboration between Lorde and Flume would sound like””and it works beautifully.

Also See  Art, Crypto, Music and Culture Come Together at the SAUCE Festival This Week

Hear the song below:

8. Naezy – “Aane De”

Mumbai rapper Naezy gets suitably menacing on his single “Aane De,” flitting through verses about staying true to oneself and separating the ”˜real’ from the ”˜fake’ in the hustle of hip-hop stardom. When it comes down to it however, the steady oscillation in the beat from classical Indian instrumentals in the hook to vicious bass-drops in the verses is the true highlight of the track.

Hear the song below:

9. Divine – “Farak”

Desi rap star Divine highlights his triumphs and tribulations on “Farak,” an emotional chronicle of his rise from the slums of Mumbai to one of India’s biggest hip-hop stars. “Farak” keeps it simple but dark with a slow, old school beat and is probably one of his most honest and hard-hitting offerings since his 2016 breakout single “Jungli Sher.” Lyrically the track takes on a softer vibe from his previous tracks since it also serves as an ode to his mother’s love and struggles while raising him.

Hear the song below:

10. All Seeing Eye – “Eyes Closed”

In a year when most metal bands were aiming to be as experimental as possible, Bengaluru’s fledgling metallers All Seeing Eye took slam rhythms, visceral growls and made everything unpredictably vicious. By the time they stomp on the finish line, it’s just two minutes that salutes mayhem as it does meditative jazz-like interludes. All Seeing Eye serve an unpredictably brutal volley of riffs, complex drum signatures and a stark raving vocalist who can glare straight into the camera like he knows your damned soul.

Hear the song below:

(Releases are listed in no particular order)

Compiled by Anurag Tagat, Riddhi Chakraborty and David Britto

Share this:

You Might also Like