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Fresh Indie Fridays

Hear new releases from independent acts

David Britto Apr 23, 2021

Hear new music on Fresh Indie Fridays by artists (clockwise from top) The Bohemian Basterds, Sid Pillai, Hotel Garuda and Saahil Bhargava. Photos: Courtesy of the artists

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The Bohemian Basterds – Being

Vietnam-based rock outfit The Bohemian Basterds consisting of Russian vocalist-guitarist Elen Nevolina and Mumbai-bred vocalist-bassist Vivek Date recently released their exciting eight-track debut album Being. Assisted by Vietnamese drummer Thao Tran who holds the groove down for the band, the new record bursts with intriguing blues offerings (“Jealous Man,” “Money,” “I’m Not A Loser”), old school rock (“Bohemian Basterds,” “Gimme More of Rock & Roll”) and more. Both Nevolina and Date share vocal duties across the record and while they do invoke a sense of nostalgia through their music, there’s plenty to be admired with their songwriting. If you want to revisit attending a gig at a cramped pub with the band turned up to 10 and getting you off your feet, put on Being and knock yourself out. Next, a concept album is in the works, Date says, “The album is yet to be named, we have been working on it since March 2020.”

Saahil Bhargava – “Kohima”

Mumbai/Los Angeles singer-songwriter and composer Saahil Bhargava takes inspiration from the Battle of Kohima that took place in the North East of India during World War Two. Kohima is about a soldier in the middle of a brutal battle. Filled with pulsating drums, distorted guitars and Bhargava’s soaring vocals, the musician says, “’Kohima’ is about a soldier in the middle of a brutal battle.” He adds, “Rather than focusing on the ‘glory’ of war or the events of the battle, this song focuses on this individual soldier’s perspective as he desperately tries to survive the nightmarish conflict so he can return home.” Accompanied by an animated music video depicting the essence of the song, Bhargava hopes people think about the traumatizing events that soldiers have to go through. “Kohima” will be followed up with a couple more single before the artist releases his forthcoming debut EP.

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Sid Pillai – “Oh! Here She Comes”

Thiruvananthapuram-bred singer-songwriter Sid Pillai delivers a saccharine and cutesy new single titled “Oh! Here She Comes.” The track includes a quirky acoustic guitar progression, a bubbly melody as well as intriguing harmonies and backing vocals. Pillai says, “It tells the story of a guy who falls in love with a barista.” He adds, “He’s a bit of a hopeless romantic while she has no idea who he is and has zero interest. I bring out themes of infatuation, anxiety and being in a fool’s paradise, where fantasy obscures reality.” With an EP already in his locker in the shape of 2018’s four-track Try My Hand, the musician is plotting to release more music in the near future.

Hotel Garuda – The Tension

Mumbai-born producer Aseem Mangaokar aka Hotel Garuda showcases trippy dance music on his four-track EP The Tension. Filled with heavy synths, breezy vocals, glitch elements as well as indulgent production, the record is quite the earworm. The DJ says, “This EP distills a year-long introspection into four pieces of music. I needed to break out of the confines that had been forced on me as a stereotypical producer and DJ. This meant being more involved in songwriting as well as singing on every song.” He adds, “As an artist, I feel like I’ve really come into my own with regards to what I want my music to say, and the feelings I want it to evoke.”

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