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Fresh Indie Fridays

Hear new releases from Indian independent acts

David Britto Apr 02, 2021

Hear new music on Fresh Indie Fridays from (clockwise from top left) Chennai Street Band, Alan Ebe, SmokeScreen and VelvetMeetsATimeTraveller. Photos: Courtesy of the artists

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VelvetMeetsATimeTraveller – Handmade Illusions

Kolkata post-rock outfit VelvetMeetsATimeTraveller initially began work on their four-track debut EP Handmade Illusions in 2019. The band – comprising bassist-vocalist Debdeep Das, keyboardist-vocalist Parvez Mallick, guitarist Suan Mung Khaute and drummer Atri Sengupta – tell us that from a compositional point of view they focused heavily on the instrumentation. Das says, “The songs are still a reflection of a single dream, comprising four episodes which is a depiction of each of the members’ thoughts.” The EP opens with the cascading “Kaafila” before we hear the soaring “Mizpah.” Next, the band plows through the evocative “Asmaan” as they close the record with the surging title track. Looking ahead, Das says, “As of now we have  already started to work on new singles while also aiming to release a concept album in the near future.”

Alan Ebe – “Comeover”

On his latest single “Comeover,” Chennai/Dubai artist Alan Ebe taps into his lo-fi and R&B side. The musician delivers quite exquisitely with the new track. There’s a silky vocal melody that flows through while harmonies, vibrant strums and a fluid guitar solo elevate the song. He says, “I am a big believer of authenticity and being true to your own life experiences. Because of this, I take the idea of building my own sound seriously.” Ebe adds, “Listeners can tell what’s honest and what’s not, and genuine appreciation is almost always in response to honesty.”

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Chennai Street Band – “Safarnama”

After the release of their debut album last year, alt-pop group Chennai Street Band played a few gigs and then got to work on their follow-up record Uplift. Recently the band released the upcoming LP’s optimistic lead single “Safarnama.” Composer/producer Srihari Jagannathan says, “’Safarnama’ lyrically is a happy take on how a person with hopes and aspirations embarks on a journey and ends up understanding life, spirituality and existence in general.” The band are now readying a Tamil song to be released next month. On what folks can expect from the rest of Uplift, Jagannathan says, “Every song will be an experience. You will definitely see us experimenting with our sound [and have] collaborations from across the globe.”

SmokeScreen – “Creation”

Pune rock outfit SmokeScreen – consisting of vocalists/guitarists/producers Apurva Sharan and Shubham Rathi, drummer Shantanu Dhiman, producer Amey Jichkar as well as live members; guitarist Ashutosh Kale and bassist Tushar Joshi – are all guns blazing on their pounding new single “Creation.” After being inspired by Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Tejas Menon’s 2017 album Make It Happen, SmokeScreen decided to level up. “[We] realized that the quality of independent music in the country was riding a new high. Inspiring would be an understatement,” says Sharan. On “Creation,” the band delivers splendidly with crushing grooves and steely vocals. Sharan says, “The song channels our personal atheist inclinations, propelling it onto society in a modern arena-rock arrangement.” Over the course of the next few months, the band will drop a few more singles which will lead to the release of their debut EP. “We hope to get the EP together by June 2021,” says Sharan.

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