New Music: From New Delhi Electronica To Aizawl Indie Rock and More
This month, we round up the latest from rapper Naveen Koomar, Vellore metallers Obsidian and Bhopal producer Paranox, amongst others
“If You’re Not Sweating To This Then Honey You’re Not 90’s” by Avora Records
Aizawl indie rockers Avora Records are at their melodramatic, playful best with their latest song, which clearly didn’t need to be shortened for brevity. Featuring their steely funk guitars, a healthy dose of humor and dance-rock arrangements, the video is just as much a show-stealer. Directed by filmmaker Zorin Puia, the nearly six-minute video pours in references to Mod Squads and star crossed lovers and a VFX-heavy creation of heaven, in which the band is obviously rocking out.
Battleground Dreams EP by Pelican Shuffles
Performing live since 2017, Kolkata indie rockers Pelican Shuffles prove that the city still loves warm guitar tones and catchy choruses. Their second EP Battleground Dreams – the follow up to 2018’s debut All Shuffled Up – evokes alt-rock in the vein of Kings of Leon (“Saturday Morning,”) laidback, grunge-inflected rock (“Why Did You Do It?”) as well as straightforward old-school harmonica-laden pieces like “Foolish Beings.”
“Ranjha” by Paranox, Tanjina Islam and Srijan Sharma
Bhopal-based bass music producer Parakh Mathur aka Paranox teams up with Dhaka-bred singer Tanjina Islam for his first major label release. “Ranjha” went out to Zee Music’s 43 million subscribers in August, but stayed true to Paranox’s ability to weave from classic vocal melodies into seismic bass breaks, which certainly don’t miss their chance to shake things up. In the accompanying video, the singer Islam is seen walking through a park singing brokenheartedly, while the bass music kicks in for Paranox’s cue, along with dancers Udita and Gayatri Menon.
“Illusionist” by Obsidian
Born out of the Vellore college circuit, metallers Obsidian are out with their third single “Illusionist,” which sticks to their radiant prog metal style. The song brings together sparkling synth and regular rock vocal lines, but in true djent fashion stays rooted in seemingly chaotic and punishing guitar and rhythmic work. The song deals with “self-devised illusions” and the tussle between dreams and reality.
“Gully Beat Cypher” by D-Cypher ft Yashraj, Zedano, Vrindam & Siyaahi
The marketing for hip-hop Bollywood film Gully Boy extended to include an app called Gully Beat, which allowed aspiring rappers to try their bars over template music. A contest around the app eventually led to four rappers – Yashraj, Zedano, Vrindam and Siyaahi – selected jump in on a beat by beatboxer D-Cypher (who also contributed to the Gully Boy soundtrack). “Gully Beat Cypher” introduces fresh voices, over D-Cypher’s indefatigable beatboxing.
The Wild Blue Yonder by IP
In the making for five years, New Delhi’s once vocalist-guitarist I.P. Singh (formerly of rock band Menwhopause) dons the producer hat for his debut album The Wild Blue Yonder. The result is a solid 10 tracks of eclectic, instrument sample-based electronic music. While “Shaft” opens proceedings gently, there’s chasmic bass beats and dreamy string lines dominating “Beam.” Instruments such as the bouzouki, oud, didgeridoo and more feature on the album, while the latter half pays obeisance to melancholic ambient electronic (“Firefly,” “Zither”). Stick around to the end and you hear Singh return to psychedelic rock on “Pi 3.14.”
“Ganda Khel” by Naveen Koomar
Taking on the idea of survival of the fittest and how the odds are often in favor of the privileged, New Delhi rapper Naveen Koomar and producer Vedang Deshpande turn up a hook-filled Hindi song “Ganda Khel.” While the flow isn’t especially stand-out, the rapper remains steadfast in his takedown of the powerful and the status quo.