Simply Bold, Unapologetic Pop : Udbhav’s latest EP ‘Milansaar’
Udbhav, a 23-year-old artist hailing from New Delhi, has been constantly gaining popularity since 2020, when he released his first full-length album ‘Nanku Sharma’. Throughout his releases, he has not adopted a single style or sound, experimenting with loop and sample-based hip-hop production on ‘Nanku Sharma’, experimental, downtempo and ambient instrumentals with glitchy and surreal vocals on ‘Yati’ and now, clean, Bollywood inspired pop production on his latest EP ‘Milansaar’.
Milansaar is easily his most commercial project yet, and the clean and meticulous mix (done by Udbhav himself) adds to that. A cheery and somewhat-nostalgic Hindi-pop sound is present with Udbhav handling the production on all four tracks. The project gives off fun, relaxing, and spiritual vibes as the powerful vocals sound almost like chants in some of the tracks. It is not a groundbreaking project like Yati by any means, but that does not mean that it compromises on the quality of the composition or production in any way. The compositions are clearly inspired by Indian classical music, with sitars and tablas that flow well with the western drums, synths, and funky guitars. The vocals throughout the project are catchy and have complex rhyming schemes yet are simple enough to understand and memorise.
The EP starts off with the track ‘Vaayu Mein’, a powerful, spiritual start to the project. The dramatic guitar strums, percussive rhythms, and atmospheric backing vocal layers complement the omnipotent, energetic lines sung by Udbhav. As described by the artist, all these elements ‘make for a song that is calmly chaotic’. The next song, which is the title track, is a chill jam with funky guitars and catchy vocals. Digital, jazzy synths and a distorted vocal sample accompany the beats, along with an exciting tabla loop. A playful, danceable and overall fun song adds a lot of life to the album.
The third track, ‘Sangam’, features Sitarsnub, who dominates the instrumental with his beautiful ambient sitar strings. Rashim Anand, who is also featured on the track, provides beautiful Hindustani classical background vocals that fit the sitar well. Udbhav’s production and singing on the track make for an amazingly chill vibe. The closing track ‘Machla’ is another energetic jam with funky guitars dominating the soundscape. The bass adds even more strength to the already solid groove. Playful, melodic vocals contribute to the track to make a solid closer.
Overall, the project is a refined and polished, pop-oriented project by one of the most promising indie artists in the scene. The accessible vibe makes for music that can be played in almost any setting. Having 1.5 million plays over multiple streaming platforms for his first LP ‘Nanku Sharma’, Udbhav seems to push the pop envelope even further with a shorter, more polished release with ‘Milansaar’, along with other recent singles which have a similar vibe like ‘Aflatune’, ‘Dooba’ and ‘Igandiz ‘. The release of ‘Milansaar’ creates a lot of interest for what the Udbhav holds for the future.