New Music: Dystopian Rock from Kolkata, Dancehall from Kerala, New Delhi Ambient and More
We round up the latest from young artists such as Rudy Mukta, Var!n, Alvin Presley and Soham Mallick, amongst others
A Broadcast, Underwater by Angad Berar
Once based in Bengaluru and now in New Delhi, producer-guitarist Angad Berar delivers three new songs which follow his 2019 psychedelic album Elephants on the Beach. Tracks like “Washedinsepia,” “Heartbeatofatwig” and “Waltzin’withmisslazy” sees Berar still tunneling into heaven;y sounds of nature, loops and lastly, a familiar wash of hazy mind-bending guitar jams. With three tracks out now, the remainder of the 10-track album is scheduled to release later this year.
Fall Today EP by Alvin Presley
Chennai-based, Nagpur-bred Alvin Presley – who also fronts rock band Attva – delivers a refreshing dose of electronic-tinged alternative tunes on his new EP Fall Today. Though he’s trained in Hindustani classical and a multi-instrumentalist, Fall Today comes across as a treatise on minimalist production. Songs like “Fallen Mornings” are rooted in understated rhythms, while “Falling Star (Pogathey)” brings in Tamil vocals over a bed of acoustic guitar melodies and deep beats. Presley’s production stands out deftly on “Fall Today,” which is anchored in his layered vocals and also presents a cinematic flip called “The Heart of Fall Today.”
No Froze by Var!n
When “DM for collab” becomes near-ironic for how musicians network on social media, it’s always reassuring to see a pairing that actually clicks even though everyone is working remotely. 22-year-old Mumbai guitarist-producer and rapper Varun Anand aka Var!n teams up with Kolkata-origin producer U-A Music, 16-year-old producer Ankith Gupta and Bengaluru rapper Loud Silence on his new EP No Froze. There’s cleverly placed trap and hip-hop featuring young voices throwing down verses about everything from coronavirus and still running hard.
“We’ll Die Anyway” by Rudy Mukta
Amongst the younger singer-songwriters on the block, Bengaluru-based Rudy Mukta’s new track “We’ll Die Anyway” is so lo-fi you can hear deliberately left in traffic sounds and the racket from her surroundings as just another sprinkled element in smooth, unwavering production from Aryaman Valdiya aka Rae Stones. Following up songs like “Lucky” and her early 2020 EP Entropy, Mukta is one to watch for her laidback hip-hop meets pop aesthetic that just arrives as cool as it can get. Inspired by everyone from Tyler the Creator to Billie Eilish, the 17-year-old is already winning over fans on Instagram for starters.
“Freakay” by Anna Katharina Valayil
Kochi-based artist Anna Katharina Valayil pens a seductive, no-holds-barred self-love song for the digital age with “Freakay.” Subtitled under her alter ego moniker of Tribemama Mary Kali, the two-and-a-half minute song offers up dancehall-meets-pop production for Valayil’s sleek verses and hooks. In the music video shot by filmmaker Nikhil Vijayan, Valayil is seen with two women in choreographed moves and vibrant clothes by a pool.
“Naqaab” by Soham Mallick
Dedicated to his friends and family who identify as queer, New Delhi-based vocalist Soham Mallick (part of rock band Moongphali) sings about the importance of love conquering any apprehensions about the lack of acceptance in his gentle, star-gazing solo song “Naqaab.” Featuring drum and bass arrangements by Kolkata producer/multi-instrumentalist John Paul and producer/singer-songwriter Rohan Solomon helming mix and master duties, the song is an emphatic plea for allowing love across the spectrum.
“Ministry of Love” by Murphy’s Paradox
Kolkata-based rock band Murphy’s Paradox released their suitably spacey EP Lost Astronauts in 2019 and are now out with their new single “Ministry of Love.” With the lyrics informed by writer George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, the groovy, somewhat psychedelic song references thought police as well as one of the author’s most famous quotes: “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.” The band hints towards the importance of individuals to stand up for their own betterment and leading by example in the track.