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New Music: Hip-Hop From Nagpur, Fusion from Bengaluru, Trap-Metal and More

Tune in to the latest releases from violinist-composer Apoorva Krishna, singer-songwriter Soundarya, pop artist Lakshya Bhatnagar and indie rock band PA System, amongst others

Anurag Tagat May 06, 2021

Singer-songwriter Soundarya. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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“Make Me Go” by Soundarya

On the third single off her upcoming album Riding Daylight, singer-songwriter Soundarya leans back and gets into a summery guitar-centric vibe on “Make Me Go.” Amidst a sunny, beachside psychedelic sound, Soundarya sings about the kind of love and infatuation that can distract and completely take over one’s mind.

“The Suitcase” by Mohit Mukhi

Singer-songwriter Mohit Mukhi taps into melancholy in his distinct way on his latest track “The Suitcase” but he takes it well beyond its original solo acoustic version. The guitar harmonies oscillate between flowing and trickling, building up as Mukhi stresses on the word “unpack” and unleashes grandiose, organ-led rock, only to return to the lead hook.

“Panic In Life’s Waiting Room” by The Coconut Milk Project

Chennai-based acoustic duo The Coconut Milk Project – comprising Pavithra Krishnaswamy and Goutham Kumar – are tender and mindful on their second single “Panic In Life’s Waiting Room.” Bearing subtle elements which revolve around acoustic guitar melodies at first, the track adds vocal harmonies, piano and lush string arrangement as it progresses, even as the duo sing reassuringly about panic and doom.

“Oasis” by PA System

On the third single off their upcoming album Strangers Down the Hall, indie band PA System launch off the base of dreamy pop-rock on “Oasis” to craft a solid radio-friendly tune. In the music video shot by Parvez Kaleem, vocalist Pratyush Shankar is seen forlorn amidst a band in distress, eventually hoping to patch things up.

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“Juda Karke” by Shubham J

Over flittering electronic beats and a strong guitar lead running through it, singer-songwriter Shubham J strikes an emotional note on “Juda Karke.” Singing about the change in dreams and aspirations following the end of a relationship, the music video for the track (directed by Shubham) centers around the departure of a significant other, with the artist essaying the role of a character who gathers the resolve to move on.

“Sink or Swim” by ReddMachine

On his fourth release already this year, Bengaluru-bred ReddMachine aka Nishaanth Hanumantha Reddy brings rap-growls to the Indian hip-hop game, inspired by everyone from British artist Scarlxrd to Linkin Park and more. Originally a bassist with tech-death metallers Phegmatic, Reddy picked up growling when he heard Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and now incorporates it into menacing trap beats, like his latest release “Sink Or Swim,” which features production crafted by Ukrainian beatsmith Merlean.

“Nagpur Vs. Everybody” by Nagpur Rap Cypher

Featuring a slam-dunk total of 20 rappers in their latest cypher, if you ever needed a primer on the Nagpur hip-hop scene, “Nagpur Vs. Everybody” takes a roving, hard-hitting drill beat by producer Aashay on the Beat and throws in seemingly endless bars. Mostly rapping in Hindi and English with a tinge of Marathi, stand-out verses include DJYogesh, CryGene, Soldier, D Rhymez and more.

Intuition by Apoorva Krishna

Bengaluru-based violinist and composer Apoorva Krishna can count a lot of things as achievements as she releases her new album Intuition. One of them would be getting to perform alongside jazz-fusion legend John McLaughlin. Krishna, who has been performing for the last 15 years and studied at Berklee College of Music’s Boston and Valencia campuses, showcases the sublime power of Carnatic violin across eight tracks on Intuition. There’s “Ragamaya” with ace singer  Shankar Mahadevan, vibrant jazz-fusion on “Transcend,” playfulness aplenty on “Tinky Winky” and more emotive, introspective pieces such as “Timeless.”

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“Sharaab Hoon Main” by Lakshya Bhatnagar

Raising his glass to the headiness of booze – complete with artwork that’s inspired by Old Monk rum – pop artist Lakshya Bhatnagar dives headlong into jazz, blues and funky hues on his latest release. “Sharaab Hoon Main” plays up groovy rhythms as well as a brass section, with a production assist from Ankith Sinha. Bhatnagar sings gleefully about the warm feeling he gets from the oft-considered good medicine.

“Tumar Smriti / Nahila Tumi” Jay Sarma, Bhargov Deka

Part of Assamese label Pratirup Collective, producer Jay Sarma taps into euphoric bass-heavy electronic music on his latest release “Tumar Smriti/Nahila Tumi,” featuring the saccharine vocal melodies of Bhargov Deka. The Assamese song is one among a total of over 70 songs released by Sarma this year and he plans to aim for at least 100 songs to be out by the end of 2021.

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