Hear Mumbai Singer-Songwriter Kalyaani’s Feel-Good Debut ‘Noises In My Head’
After a move from New Delhi three years ago, the artist talks about mining life experiences for eight tracks
In the three years that Kalyaani Sakkarwal has moved to Mumbai from New Delhi, she’s made much more of a mark than she ever had with her rock band Anantara, which came together in 2008. Her method? She says, “I went to all the open mics and I didn’t have any expectations about where to start from.”
In early 2016, she met Lima Yanger, the frontman for alt rock band Duncun Rufus, who came on board to producer Sakkarwal’s debut album Noises In My Head. The album features Yanger on backup vocal and arrangement duties, as well as seasoned instrumentalists such as bassist Sonu Sangameswaran, guitarists Subid Khan and Vikalp Sharma (the latter from rockers Daira), Hitesh Dhutia and Nevin D’mello, keyboardist Vijval Barboza and Duncun Rufus drummer Gaute Johannsen. Sakkarwal says, “Any time they came to lay down the tracks, I just told them the story of why I wrote the songs and they had total freedom to do what they wanted to do. It doesn’t make sense to put in so much effort if the artists aren’t comfortable with you.”
The eight-track Noises In My Head features songs written about four years ago as well as some written after Sakkarwal moved to Mumbai from New Delhi three years ago. “I think this is my next life ”“ this is something I’ve been trying to get out of my way.” The album details a predominantly laidback sound that occasionally breaks away from nostalgic pop and singer-songwriter music into emphatic rock. With “Kuch Nahi,” Sakkarwal adds a simple Hindi ditty about loss and longing, punctuated with a string arrangement. On “Bobby Song,” she makes her peace with the passing of her pet dog.
While Sakkarwal has made her way through venues in and around Mumbai, after the release of Noises In My Head, she’s taking a breather. She doesn’t feel like she’s taken too long on the album, however. “Good things take time and I’m not going to sit on it and bask in the glory or whatever. I feel my work here is done and I have to move on,” she says.
Listen to ‘Noises In My Head’ below