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Hear GrapeGuitarBox’s New Feel-Good Ode ‘Free’

The London-based, Bengaluru-bred singer-songwriter releases a warm, breezy tune about dreaming yet staying grounded in reality

Anurag Tagat Dec 23, 2020

London-based singer-songwriter and producer GrapeGuitarBox aka Teenasai Balamu. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Over the last five years, Teenasai Balamu aka GrapeGuitarBox has gone from a cover artist wooing clubs to confidently owning their sound and emerging with strong tunes about identity, love and growing up.

Currently based in London, the Bengaluru-bred artist clearly continues to get stronger with their voice, as is evident on the latest track “free.” Released earlier this month, the song was commissioned by Tinder India as a soundtrack to a queer love story.

In this full version of “free,” we hear GrapeGuitarBox not just as singer-songwriter but also free-wheeling producer. Although staying rooted in the familiar warmth and calm of any folksy singer-songwriter tune, they employ echoey vocals, a lingering yet subtle melodica/horn section and an overall lo-fi aesthetic on the track. Where we’ve heard their debut EP Out as a more fantastical, sprawling journey in terms of production elements courtesy of veteran sound engineer Miti Adhikari, “free” proves that GrapeGuitarBox can ably navigate a somewhat understated sonic setting well, as the track swells to stomping, clap-along rhythms and a glowing brass section.

Lyrically, “free” looks on the upside of things especially in the midst of a pandemic, as the artist sings: “We’ll live and we’ll fly and we’ll feel it all again/We’ll get there somehow/All that matters is now.” While “free” might be a detour of sorts for GrapeGuitarBox – they’ve released four out of a tentative six tracks on their upcoming debut EP Out since 2019 – it adds yet another anticipatory hue to stories of in-the-moment love and hope, which we could all do with right now.

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Listen to “Free” below. Stream on more platforms here

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