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New Music: Jazz-Funk from New Delhi, Hip-Hop from Shillong, Punjabi Fusion from Chandigarh and More

Tune in to the latest from rapper Xenon Phoenix, rock project The Earflower Experiment and pop-rock duo The Fortune, amongst others

Anurag Tagat Oct 18, 2020

New Delhi jazz-funk act The Revisit Project. Photo: Shrey Gupta

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“Locked Away” by The Revisit Project

Judging by how smooth and lilting New Delhi funk band The Revisit Project’s new song “Locked Away” is, you’d be forgiven for overlooking that it’s quite a reality check. Teaming up with soul singer Vrnda Dhar, the band regroup after more than six months apart due to the pandemic and they’re keeping it real. Over sax from Abhay Sharma and fist-tight grooves, the band weigh in on the ways of the world and the new normal.

“Brain Dead” by GLTCH

Assam producer Souvik Das aka GLTCH returns with a slick new single that seems to be ironically called “Brain Dead,” considering it’s anything but lethargic. The quick-paced trap track was featured on popular channels such as Trap City and Magic Music on YouTube, which means that GLTCH has already received over 100,000 total views across uploads. With roving synth lines and intricate drum and bass breaks, the track features two drops, which lineup perfectly to catapult “Brain Dead” into trap banger territory.

“Grow” by The Earflower Experiment

With his new single, New Delhi artist The Earflower Experiment aka Astaaq Ahmed teams up with artist-producer Aman Saxena once again for a heavier and headier track called “Grow.” Carrying forward themes of introspection that were explored in “Emerge,” vocalist and guitarist-producer Ahmed bids goodbye to emotional baggage with an uneasy, Porcupine Tree-esque sound that builds from swaying acoustic riffage to all-out incendiary guitar leads, with visuals edited by him and Vanshika Malik to match up to the moods.

“Fall Out” by Swati Bhatt

Rounding off her debut EP Rebuild, New Delhi-based singer-songwriter Swati Bhatt released her fourth and final single for the project early in October. “Fall Out,” which addresses the struggle to heal and move beyond inner conflicts “between the mind and the inner self,” is a short but packed song that once again features Bhatt’s jazz-like vocal harmonies and a dexterous rhythmic section to back her up.

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“Venom” by Khasi Bloodz

Shillong hip-hop act Khasi Bloodz are their vile, unfiltered best as they perform just another deft takedown of the competition, sensationalized T.V. news and more on “Venom,” which raises a mirror to human existence and how problematic it’s all gotten. Over a playfully pendulous beat made by Jerry Nelson Ranee (Undying Inc, The Silent Offensive), rappers D-Bok and Big Ri launch a seething attack on societal ills.

“All Eyes” by The Fortune ft Yash Raj Singh and Keerthana Menon

Following their previous multi-lingual single “Covid Unnis,” producer-composer duo The Fortune – classically trained pianist (and doctor) Dhananj Shivganesh and Nikhil Pradip – turn their attention to a much lighter topic on their latest song “All Eyes.” Bringing in rising singers such as Yash Raj Singh and Keerthana Menon, the guitar-aided duet is an electronic pop celebration of love.

“Broken” by Anisha AOD

Casting the light on a doomed relationship, New Delhi’s pop artist Anisha AOD dives into a darker sonic spectrum with producer Adhiraj Kabir Mustafi on “Broken.” Over roomy, sprawling drumming and an unsettling guitar lead, Anisha sings about the changes that come from having clarity. The song is accompanied by a striking music video created by Bengaluru-based illustrator and animation artist Pooja Sreenivasan.

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“Shaami Mildi” by Roop Ghuman, Vibhuti Joshi and Arjit Singh

Mohali-origin singer-composer Roop Ghuman teams up with fellow producers and voices Arjit Singh and Vibhuti Joshi for one of the most refreshing sonic approaches we’ve seen to Punjabi music in recent times. The third single off their forthcoming album Origins is a breezy, cinematic new track called “Shaami Mildi.” In addition to featuring a poetic flourish with the lyrics of two lovers meeting, the song is a sunset-perfect track which incorporates mandolin by American artist Simon Dunson, thus affecting an “old European flavor with a touch of a western classical,” as Ghuman puts it.

“Lucy” by Xenon Phoenix ft Prin$e Alexander, Yogi

Referencing one of the most famous songs about psychoactive substances – The Beatles’ “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” – Siliguri rapper Xenon Phoenix collaborates with Philadelphia artist Prin$e Alexander over a beat by Indian producer Yogi for his latest song “Lucy.” The track aptly addresses drug usage and violence, Xenon and Prin$e rapping about how it disconnects individuals from peers and partners alike, with a dreamy hook sung by the former.

“Soona Manzar” by Yathartha Sharma

New Delhi singer-songwriter Yathartha Sharma has a familiar path when it comes to getting into music – he studied engineering and acquired a business degree and dug his heels into the corporate world, only to realize within three years that he should get back to his “childhood passion” of music. Trained by his grandfather in vocals, Sharma offers one side as a simple singer-songwriter and then as a able-throated Indian classical voice who dives into fusion on “Soona Manzar,” his fourth single.

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