Singer-Songwriter Shikhar’s Moonbrain Is a Heartfelt Debut EP That Seeks To Leave An Impression

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For singer/songwriter Shikhar Chaudhary (who goes by Shikhar), the path to getting his music out to the world hasn’t been easy. Having been born and brought up in Bhopal, he has always felt a kind of disconnection from the people around him since childhood, and these feelings of alienation lingered even later in his life. But he utilized music as a channel to pour his energy into, finding something where he felt a true sense of belonging. And eventually, his passion for pouring his heart out through music resulted in the creation of his debut 4-track EP Moonbrain – a heartfelt melange of schmaltzy guitars, evocative vocals, and shimmering post-production elements.

The EP is close to his heart, resonating with the innermost feelings of the artist. Shikhar is careful in his delivery, bringing out vulnerability and tenderness through each song. In the title track “Moonbrain”, he uses a simple chord progression on the acoustic guitar playing it in a groovy finger-picked rhythm to evoke playfulness in an otherwise sentimental palette. Although his mood is mellow, Shikhar doesn’t shy away from expressing his bold and more confident persona in the number.

The musician has also derived major influence from the sensational singer-songwriter and guitarist John Mayer, and has made use of his learnings quite adroitly in his EP, incorporating the latter’s signature acoustic pop-rock sound in a way that screams his own creativity and ability to make something completely his own. Fluttering acoustic guitar riffs, soft yet ebullient drumming, subtle rock-influenced embellishments and moody, emotional vocals dominate the EP – a sound so familiar yet something that he has owned through the sheer power of his artistry. “Sink” holds the same level of charm, dialing up on the soft yet vibrant textures to illuminate its soundscape. The artist flaunts his aptitude in fluent songwriting, cautiously picking his words and sewing them into eloquent verses that express his innermost longings.

“Easily” is a heart-break ditty in its essence, opting for a laidback pace and sentimental colours to express its melancholy. Shikhar’s approach is honest and vulnerable; he is not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve. He wants to be sympathized with and is quite straightforward in asking for what he wants. And as you get lost in the musician’s dulcet crooning, you are only left with lingering pain, as if a band-aid was ripped open without any warning. “Hindsight” focuses on an upbeat palette, with more prominent electric guitars and drumming than the rest of the tracks in the EP. The song brings the record to a hopeful end – making peace with the melancholy that it held close to it throughout its course.

Moonbrain as a debut EP has established Shikhar’s potential as a singer-songwriter even if this has been the very first venture in his musical journey so far. It manages to hit you right in the sweet spot with its chilled-out melodies, catchy vocals, and saccharine lyrics, making for a light-hearted yet repetitive listen – something that you’d want to listen to on lonely nights.