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New Music: New Delhi Alternative, Kolkata Indie, Mumbai Instrumental Rock and More

Tune in to the latest from guitarists John Paul and Bodhisattwa Ghosh, electronic music producer Kali Mirch and Bengaluru guitarist Saravana Gowtham

Anurag Tagat May 03, 2020

Kolkata guitarist Bodhisattwa Ghosh in a still from his new collaboration Ballad of a Broken World.

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“Ballad of a Broken Wold” by Bodhisattwa Ghosh ft. John Paul

Multi-instrumentalist producer John Paul has his own coronavirus-tune that safely steers the conversation away into a different mood, with help from Kolkata guitarist Bodhisattwa Ghosh. On a bed of poignant keyboard layers, drumming and acoustic guitars created by Paul, the jazz guitarist in Ghosh busts out virtuoso-level leads that quickly elevate the song into dramatic rock. Paul too adds his own guitar tapping leads to get into a heavy space before settling back down somberly.

Foreverland by Stable Flux

Separated by distance but committed to releasing material, New Delhi rock band Stable Flux have put up their 2018 EP Foreverland on streaming platforms after its initial limited distribution. The four-track EP runs through proggy spheres, alternative rock hooks and songs like “Foreverland” reward the listener just for listening through. “Ambient Warfare,” on the other hand, runs through different movements, almost an amalgamation of the band’s influence across rock eras.

“What If” by Vavae

London-based Indian music producer and singer Rohit Kumar, who is also part of Indo-Brit band Nomads on the Run, shines through on his electronic music project Vavae, whose new single “What If” was out earlier in April. The young artist proves just how well India’s music minds are shaping up, bringing together refreshing synth lines and sub-bass over a buoyant beat.

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“She Means the World to Me” by tHe soHam

Teaming up with producer, guitarist and singer-songwriter Ananda Mitra (from indie rock band The Jeepers), Kolkata singer-songwriter Soham Bhattacharya aka The Soham has a whimsical new track out called “She Means the World to Me.” Featuring gentle folk arrangements with a xylophone and plenty of acoustic and nylon guitars in the mix, the song flows at a pleasant pace, as Bhattacharya sings about young love in a simple, almost child-like manner.

“Seclusion” by Moin

A regular in the Mumbai metal scene as drummer, producer and live sound engineer, Moin Farooqui has launched the first song for his collaborative solo project. “Seclusion” has all the makings of a well-structured post-rock song, bringing together ethereal guitar work from Tapan Kantharia and steady basslines from Neilson Fernandez. While Farooqui is a regular live session drummer, he’s also behind the kit for thrash metallers Carnage Inc. With this song and his upcoming self-titled album Moin, the drummer-producer clearly opens with the clear intention of showcasing his varied, emotion-driven taste in music.

“Lost Light” by Saravana Gowtham

Bengaluru-based guitarist and bassist Saravana Gowtham is another artist who’s making sure his identity as a solo musician remains firmly grounded. His instrumental song “Lost Light” explores post-rock and space rock not too far apart from his work in ambient rock band The Sahej Project. But where Gowtham – also part of death metal band Prime Rage – adds his own distinctions are with his soulful guitar melodies.

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Heartbreak Paradise by Dhruv Kapoor

Following the release of his standalone single “Sincity Love,” New Delhi-based indie-pop singer-songwriter Dhruv Kapoor is out with a collection of songs on his debut EP Heartbreak Paradise. While there’s no dearth of crestfallen singers with a guitar who use music as an outlet, Kapoor’s four-track EP stands out and avoids most clichés, with help from producer Abhishek Sekhri at Kintsugi Studios. The guitar melodies are sometimes familiar (“Sober Up”) but songs like “Stay” and “She Came” are dreamy, late night listens while the title track is starry-eyed in its reverb-heavy production.

Blow Away the Clouds by Kali Mirch

Mumbai-based producer Adi Chaudhri aka Kali Mirch also has a response to the prevalent COVID-19 pandemic but with his techno, deep house and sample-friendly approach, his new EP Blow Away the Clouds has something for everyone. Across three tracks – “Blow Away the Clouds,” “Aha” and a remix of “Aha” by Bengaluru-based producer I7HVN aka Ishan Gaur – the EP offers succor for anyone stressed out and feeling isolated. At the same time, the upbeat “Aha” can perhaps soundtrack anyone taking the situation in their stride.

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