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New Music: Hyderabad Post-Rock, Agra/Texas Hip-Hop, Bengaluru Classical Guitar and More

Check out the latest from teenaged producers such as MeetOTB and Divyaansh, plus singer-songwriter Shubham J’s R&B turn and Siliguri rapper Xenon Phoenix

Anurag Tagat Jun 12, 2021

(clockwise from top left) Anantha Krishna, MeetOTB, Shubham J, Abhaydev Praful and Bright aka Preetam S.P. Photos: Courtesy of the artists, Logesh Ravi (Shubham J)

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Run Madison, Run! by ZEDSU, MeetOTB

At 17, Pune-based producer Meetsingh Gour aka MeetOTB has had a prolific run so far and doesn’t disappoint at all with this compositional skill. On his latest collaboration so far – Run Madison, Run! with New Jersey hip-hop artist ZEDSU aka Zaire Farmer – MeetOTB conjures warm rock-informed rhythms as well as marrying tender acoustic guitar melodies with rap-friendly beats. Across seven tracks, there’s moodiness on display. Not one to don the hat of just a producer, MeetOTB is A&R at indie labels 11:11 Music and Music Woods, getting involved as an artist manager as well as musician.

“Up n Down” by Divyaansh ft Para Shri

15-year-old hip-hop artist and producer Divyaansh Verma may just have a handful of singles out since he started uploading them on YouTube last year, but he can sure navigate his way around a memorable hook. That’s pretty much the strongpoint on “Up n Down,” the chill R&B-informed hip-hop track which also features Gurugram artist Para Shri.

The Lavender Jam by Bright

Mysuru-bred rock/metal artist Preetam S.P. – who performs under the moniker Bright – released his latest full-length album The Lavender Jam in March and it bubbles at times and also carries the intent to bruise. Across 16 tracks, the guitarist dives into experimental, noisy rock, blast beat-driven extreme metal, psychedelic excursions and more.

“Daylight” by Rex, Shashank

Mumbai-based artist Shashank Rawat, who also makes music under the moniker Cr3nt0x, teams up with American producer Rex Herndon for a shimmering electro-pop tune called “Daylight.” Created as a nod to the time difference between the two regions the producers worked out of, “Daylight” recalls cheery radio-friendly music in the vein of Lauv and The Chainsmokers.

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“So Done” by Caydoe and Xenon Phoenix

Ranchi singer-producer Caydoe aka Pratiyush Singh teams up with Siliguri ace rapper Xenon Phoenix aka Subham Ghosh for a slick new hip-hop and pop combo called “So Done.” Centered around the topic of toxic relationships but offers hope, with a breathtaking music video to boot. Directed by Sabyasachi Shome, “So Done” leads with a positive message in the face of struggle.

“River in the Mountains” by Rover, Smoov

On his first international collaboration, Agra-bred rapper Rover calls on Texas artist Jet Smoov for a hard hitting new track, produced by fellow Agra beatsmith RASP. While Rover serves up Hindi and English rap, Jet Smoov gives a shoutout to his newfound Indian connection and steps forward with total conviction.

“Fable” by Abhaydev Praful

While his 2020 album Diurne dove deep into the world of classical guitar, Abhaydev Praful condenses the essence of his instrumental storytelling expertly on his latest song “Fable.” The guitar is accompanied by a mellotron in a subtle manner across five minutes, as the artist still manages to leave enough space for silence to play an emotive role.

“Maranthathey” by M.S. Krsna

On the latest performance coming out of Ahmedabad studio/label Compass Box Music, Chennai singer-songwriter M.S. Krsna teams up with local musicians – bassist-producer Raag Sethi, guitarist Chirag Todi, drummer Shivang Kapadia, vocalists Meera Desai (with a charming turn at mouth trumpet jam with Krsna) and Protyay Chakraborty (who also adds violin) – for his Tamil song “Maranthathey.” This rendition progresses from heartfelt pop to rousing prog-leaning grandiosity, which proves the versatility of musicians in the room.

MAI Mixtape by Various Artists

Intended as a monthly release series, MAI Mixtape includes previously unreleased material from Indian indie’s freshest producers and singer-songwriters in a bid to raise funds, facilitated by Mutual Aid India. The non-profit organization is currently aiming to support rural communities affected by Cyclone Yaas, and they’ve got help from singer-songwriter Karshni, producer Noni-Mouse, artist Amartya Ghosh, electronic artist FamLi and a collab between singer-songwriters Sanjeeta Bhattacharya and Prabhtoj Singh.

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“Kaisa Yeh Raabta” by Shubham J

Singer-songwriter Shubham J doesn’t exactly abandon the guitar in favor of the producer-singer route on his latest single “Kaisa Yeh Raabta,” but he does lean on a more R&B and chill sound than ever before. Released to coincide with Pride Month, the song talks about the complicated, confused kinds of love stories which find their clarity eventually. The music video, directed by Archish Jaiswal, follows the story of a woman who finds herself feeling a deeper connection towards someone of the same gender.

“Bayaan” by Khanabadosh

In the waiting for nearly two years, Udaipur rock band Khanabadosh raise their voice for those inclined towards putting up a fight, resisting and protesting in the face of “difficulty, danger or disappointment.” The tempestuous track – which follows their 2020 EP Kaala Dil – is ominous and builds up to solid guitar harmonies and riffs, reminiscent of American alt rock/metal band Alter Bridge.

“Promenade” by Anantha Krishna

Previously releasing music under the name Last Known Surroundings, Hyderabad-based guitarist and post-rock artist Anantha Krishna extracts a sense of patience from listeners on his new song “Promenade,” and offers more than just cliched crescendos. He digs into an emotive lead riff and gets an assist from vocalist Sandeep Gurrapadi, arriving at a sense of catharsis, something that only the best post-rock tracks deliver.

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