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New Music: Folk-Rock, Marathi Pop, Melodic R&B from Chennai, Rap from Lucknow

This month, we check out the latest from Mumbai act Folk Masti, Bengaluru pop artist Tarang Joseph’s collaboration with RANJ and Mary Ann Alexander, and others

Anurag Tagat Jun 23, 2022

(Clockwise from top left) Folk Masti, Binglebog and Tarang Joseph with Mary Ann Alexander and RANJ. Photos: Courtesy of the artists

“Jadoo Ki Chhadi” by Folk Masti

Mumbai folk trio Folk Masti trek to the hills of Himachal Pradesh and jam amidst snowfall in the music video for their jovial, perspective-gaining track “Jadoo Ki Chhadi.” The title track to their 2020 album, the song and music video capture a sense of gratefulness and belief despite the hardships people face in life’s journey. The video, directed by Rahul Chavan, sees the band – Vipul Panchal, Samadhan Guldagde and Roshan Aade – take their show to different parts of Himachal Pradesh, from forests to schools to hills.

“Lucknow se Prayag” by R-Mridul, Prakhar Gupta, BAD Junkie

The first single from Lucknow rapper Mridul Shukla aka R-Mridul’s upcoming EP Uttarpradesh Underground Unity, “Lucknow se Prayag” is a verbose statement of intent featuring Prakhar Gupta and BAD Junkie. Mridul takes listeners through his journey so far, while living up to the hip-hop standard of brushing off the competition. A rapper and songwriter since 2013, “Lucknow se Prayag” follows a slew of singles that Mridul has released since 2017’s “Sangharsh.”

Need Somebody EP by Ankith Gupta, Larzish

Following rap and trap bangers, Chennai producer Ankith Gupta keeps things diverse by helming beat duties on Need Somebody, a melodic R&B EP that’s a collaboration with Bengaluru-based artist Larzish aka Ishaan Sawhney. The young duo (Larzish is 17 years old and Gupta is 18) explore reggaeton and late nights (the title track), echoey/ambient R&B (“Never Forget”) and synth-drenched confrontations (“Problems”).

“Disco Although” by Binglebog

With a title that belies its true intention, anonymous indie/acoustic artist Binglebog’s new single “Disco Although” is more of a moody observational tune, weighed in guitar melodies, low and tired vocals, and a poignant harmonica. The song takes a darker, soul-searching tone compared to his 2021 debut EP God Is a Guitarist, which introduced Binglebog’s idyllic, buoyant sound.

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“Atmospheric Cry” by Suhaas Kumar ft Paul Maben & Siddharth Shah

Guitarist-producer Suhaas Kumar teams up with Mangaluru-based vocalist Paul Maben and New Delhi-bred drummer/multi-instrumentalist Siddharth Shah for a crushing new single “Atmospheric Cry.” Maben channels a bit of Linkin Park and modern metalcore, while Kumar and Shah take the song into an arena-ready bend, bringing thundering riffs and rhythms.

“Superhuman” by Tarang Joseph, Ranj, Mary Ann Alexander

Bengaluru-based singer-composer Tarang Joseph teams up with rapper RANJ aka Ranjani Ramadoss and singer-songwriter Mary Ann Alexander for his latest bop, “Superhuman.” Produced by Doc Awes aka Amrith Raghunathan (from neo-soul/hip-hop band T.ill APES), the song captures a confident person who also realizes that they are often left out and disconnected from reality at times. Going over euphoric brass arrangements and piano, Joseph and Mary Ann Alexander handle the hooks, while RANJ comes in with flow that’s reminiscent of U.K. grime artists.

“Alfaaz” by Muzaffer

New Delhi singer-songwriter Muzaffer Ali offers up a heartfelt pop love song on his debut solo single, “Alfaaz.” Making its way through dreamy production, the occasional guitar lead and a rock-solid rhythm section, Muzaffer’s Hindi song is his way of wrapping his head around the push and pull towards the end of a relationship, delving on the fleeting moments of stillness between thoughts.

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“Anam” by Soham Pathak, Nayantara Bhatkal

Outside of his pop project Yush!, Mumbai artist Soham Pathak has also been working on Marathi projects as a composer and producer. One of those to have received an independent release is “Anam,” a spirited Marathi song featuring vocalist Nayantara Bhatkal, lyricist Spruha Joshi, and co-producers Pranav Jantikar and Sarang Deshpande. The music video, directed by filmmaker Sanjith Chandrasekhar, follows a young woman — essayed by actor Geetanshi Lamba — on a hazy day in Mumbai, capturing wonderment as well as melancholy.

“Ruk Jaaye” by Akrita

Singer-songwriter Akrita Shrivastava (who goes by her first name as an artist) delivers a groovy, reflective Hindi song with “Ruk Jaaye.” Drawing from classical vocal training as well as ghazal styles, Akrita teams up with producer Darshan Shah for a shimmering pop-rock song, complete with a guitar solo by Nishith Dinoria. “Ruk Jaaye” is the artist’s third single, following releases like “Shaam” and “Baatein Shuru.” She says she wrote the song about “couples who must often choose between being together and chasing their dreams. It’s a song about making time for people you want to be with, in a time-poor world.”

“War Siren” by Jeff Bordoloi

Guwahati-based singer-songwriter Jeff Bordoloi croons in a soul-searching, reflective manner on his latest single “War Siren.” Appropriately wrapped in anticipatory kinds of melodies and progressions, Bordoloi paints a vivid portrait of chaos that’s both internal and external. Written and dedicated to his late father, “War Siren” gets psychedelic while still retaining its jumpy indie-rock songwriting.