New Music: Vulnerable Folk from Mumbai, Trippy Electronica from Bengaluru and more
We round up the latest from singer-songwriter Hanita Bhambri, folk/R&B duo Second Sight, rapper Raja RME and more
“Nothing For Our Own” by Hanita Bhambri
It’s safe to say this has been New Delhi singer-songwriter Hanita Bhambri’s best year yet. She released her emotive new single “Let Me Go” (produced by veteranÂ Kolkata-based engineer Miti Adhikari), clinched the top spot at this year’s Project Aloft Star Asia competition and is all set to release her next with Universal Music India. Until then, she dropped by Ahmedabad’s Compass Box Studio to be a part of their new series of live video performances, singing about toxic love on “Nothing For Our Own.”
Screaming for Change by The Identity Crisis
Gurugram-based rock band The Identity Crisis’ second album Screaming for Change retains their feel-good sound, complete with nimble guitar solos and all, but also extends their dexterity. They come in subtle but effectively groovy saxophone sections on songs like “Daydreamer,” courtesy of Elton Fernandes and even call on producer-keyboardist Anindo Bose (from fusion duo Shadow & Light) on the shimmering, hip “Naked Mangoes.” They even turn to scorching badass blues on “Red Light Blues,” their bonus track, which makes for a well-rounded album.
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The Violet Hour EP by Second Sight
On their four-track debut EP, Mumbai folk/R&B act Second Sight are at their vulnerable, emotionally-wrecked best (even if that’s an oxymoron) on The Violet Hour. Pushkar Srivatsal and Anusha Ramasubramoney duet with smooth vocal harmonies and layers, over minimal but elegant soundscapes, from guitars to flute (“Esperar”) to downbeat strings (“Blood,” “Follow You.”) They close with the moving spoken word-led three-minute track “Remember (Cherie),” the anguish and despair evident in every second.
“Down It” by Raja RME
A part of the team that launched desi hip-hop artists like Divine and his Gully Gang, Raja Mukherjee aka Raja RME returns to the rap game with a radio-friendly new song “Down It,” off his upcoming album Reboot. Over a trap-influenced beat by producer Crazy Vibe, Raja RME throws down in an honest style (“Trends come, trends go/We just do our own thing”) while also bragging about just how well he can hold his drink.
Viscera EP by The Burning Deck
On the latest EP under The Burning Deck moniker, Bengaluru/Mumbai electronica producer Sandeep Madhavan enlists help from formidable names new and old, including Tritha Sinha’s Indian classical style on “Dhua,” producer-singer Pardafash aka Sandhya Visvanathan’s ephemeral vocals on the trippy “Astray,” and electronic producer duo Aerate Sound on the glitched out “Conclusion: Day 2.” On his own, Madhavan stays with sample-employing synth-meets-bass over choppy beats on “Por Que?” and the rock-solid closer “Hush.”
A Beautiful Day EP by Riverglass
Sure, New Delhi-based guitarist-composer Partho H aka Riverglass turns to that old Charlie Chaplin speech from The Great Dictator on his track “Morning Dew,” but there’s he’s got the soulful guitars to match. Inspired by the likes of instrumental guitar acts like David Maxim Micic and Steve Vai, Riverglass ”“ which also includes Mohan Kumar, part of label Bassdrop Records ”“ craft eloquent, atmospheric songwriting. The five-track EP aims to reflect moods and journeying through life in the course of morning, noon (“Chaotic Noon,”) evening (the flitting “Evening Memories”) and night (“Goodnight Sleep.”)
Starfetchd EP by Vertigo
Chennai indie rockers Vertigo stick to their spaced-out arena-ready craft on their second EP Starfetchd. By the name alone, you can imagine they’re aiming for music to stare into the night sky to, and they rightly deliver. There’s ambient synth layers and delay-heavy guitars employed on songs like “Colors” and “Firebird,” and more of a shiny modern indie pattern on “Joyride” and “Lights.”