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Fresh Indie Fridays #49

Listen to the latest releases from independent acts

David Britto Jun 03, 2022

Scroll down to hear new releases on Fresh Indie Fridays by indie artists (from left) Gowri Bhat, Blackstratblues and Priyanka Nath. Photo: Courtesy of the artists; Swaraj Sriwastav (Blackstratblues)

Blackstratblues – L​.​I​/​O​.​V​.​E. Vol. I

Trust Mumbai/Auckland guitarist Warren Mendonsa to give us an essential album with our favorite tunes from his instrumental blues-rock outfit Blackstratblues, but do it in a way only he knows best – live. That’s right, Mendonsa recently released a fantastic 12-track live album entitled L.I/O.V.E. Vol. I, which also marks a first for him. The record includes hits from Blackstratblues albums through the years such as “Folkish Three,” “Anuva’s Sky,” “Lead Chain Swing,” “North Star,” “Renaissance Mission” and more. L.I/O.V.E. Vol. I was recorded live in Mumbai in 2019 and at first listen, it immediately transports you to a live Blackstratblues gig if you’ve been for one, and for those who haven’t, it sets the tone for what you’ve missed out on, but thankfully you can have that experience now through this record. Apart from Mendonsa’s profound musicianship across the record, the album also features the band’s core lineup – drummer Jai Row Kavi, keyboardist Beven Fonseca and bassist Adi Mistry, as well as a guest appearance from guitarist Tajdar Junaid. The album is everything and much more with variations to the songs, intricate playing as well as a roaring crowd applauding after each song, and Mendonsa’s interactions with the audience in between tracks in his shy and humble manner.

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In a social media statement, Mendonsa said, “Over the years, the Blackstratblues lineup solidified into a unit very comfortable playing with each other. We were also part of Amit Trivedi’s touring band and this added to our time spent on stage together. This album does capture a lot of that interplay and synergy, and I’m really glad it serves as a record of that. Culled from a special gig in 2019 featuring Tajdar Junaid on guitar and ronroco, this long-overdue live album has stellar one-off renditions of some of your favorite songs. Many of you have not seen us live since the pandemic began, so this should hopefully help till we see each other again.”

Priyanka Nath – “Stay With Me”

Hyderabad-based singer-songwriter Priyanka Nath ventures into pop territory with her latest single “Stay With Me.” The song includes Nath’s bubblegum voice, playful guitar and keyboard sounds, catchy melodies as well as heartfelt lyrics. In a statement, Nath said, “Born out of heartbreak, ‘Stay With Me’ highlights the pain by reminiscing the good times of the relationship. The longingness for what doesn’t exist anymore is painfully real and this song is a means to finding closure and acceptance of an end.”

Gowri Bhat – “Chalo Na”

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Bengaluru-based singer-songwriter Gowri Bhat’s just-released single “Chalo Na” is a melancholic offering that showcases her mellifluous vocals to the tee. The track opens with delicate guitar work and Bhat’s angelic voice before the song buffs up with drums, dynamics, heavier instrumentation and emotive delivery. In a statement, Bhat said, “The concept [of the song] is essentially speaking of reminiscing a relationship that once was, and reflecting on the good and bad times with hope for the future.” A stunning music video – starring Bhat –  also accompanies the song which captures the essence of the track.

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