‘Storm without a Sky’
When it comes to solo artists in the local indie scene, the number is woefully small. Guthrie-isms are not as welcome just yet, but with artistes like Mumbai based Nikhil D’souza, some hope slinks in. The new acoustic generation ”“ pioneered by the likes of Jack Johnson, Damien Rice and Colin Hay ”“ in the West beckons an age of understated profundity in the lyrics with a contemporary soul twist on folk. They ride on minimalist elements where the guitar and vocals are predominant, keeping stifling arrangements and instrumentation at bay. Nikhil D’souza unassumingly crafts wisdom in his simplistic compositions but is still far from a Radin or Rice in songwriting ”“ though his vocals bear imprints of Rice’s swooning style, especially when his falsetto scales the high notes. ”˜Storm without a Sky’ is a melancholy strain set in a dreamy atmospheric soundscape. Sung with aching fervour for a hoax of a lover who seems real, the lyricism flirts with bittersweet sentiments. However in places the lyrics seem almost recklessly written to fill verse space, “Don’t weep, your tears are rain/Even through your smile they speak your pain.” Yawn. But the very same D’souza pens prolific lines such as ”“ “With all that said and done/There’s nothing to stop us dancing till we fall/It’s why I sing in minor babe/It’s why I sing at all.” Dsouza has material for his debut ready, and is just waiting for a producer, anybody listening?