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Dualist Inquiry and Superfuzz’s Sanchal Malhar Craft Dance-Pop on ‘Closer’

The New Delhi producer teams up with his ‘You & Me’ collaborator for a new earworm

Rolling Stone India Nov 23, 2020

Singer-songwriter Sanchal Malhar and producer Dualist Inquiry (from left) have released their latest collaboration together via The Sterling Reserve Music Project

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New Delhi’s Dualist Inquiry aka Sahej Bakshi makes his major label leap with the Sterling Reserve Music Project, teaming up with rock band Superfuzz‘s frontman Sanchal Malhar on the electronic-pop song “Closer,” released on Universal Music India. 

While Malhar and Bakshi have been a creative duo for a few years now — with “You & Me” coming out in 2018 — the new song plays with a lot more subtext. The producer says in an interview that appears at the end of the music video, “The song is about heartbreak, about longing to be closer, to be connected but not being able to despite wanting to. It speaks about a situation where you’re seeing somebody without really seeing them and when you can hear them, but not understand them.” 

Chasm-like bass beats punctuate the smooth track, whose video was also directed and edited by Bakshi. The artist also took on visual effect duties, aided by filmmaker-photographer Sachin S. Pillai as cinematographer and featuring dancer Sharanya Narayanan as a second lead to Malhar’s broken-hearted protagonist. Bakshi says about the video concept, “We wanted to put a fresh visual spin on it. So we thought of putting Sanchal’s love interest — played by Sharanya Narayanan — in a green screen suit, so that we can replace her silhouette with visuals depicting her internal state.” 

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What comes through best on “Closer” is not just the strength of the producer and vocalist combo, but also the Superfuzz frontman wandering into the pop world once again. Bakshi says, “Working with Sanchal is always a smooth and effortless process. He’s just one of the most talented songwriters that I’ve worked with. The man really knows how to write a mean hook.” 

The Sterling Reserve Music Project, launched in December 2018, has so far featured artists such as singer-producer Monica Dogra, Telugu rapper StreetViolater R&B/pop powerhouse voice Arunaja, rock band Left Turn, Kolkata hip-hop artists such as Cizzy and Feyago, plus playback veteran Shaan. 

Watch the video for “Closer” below. Stream here.

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