2020 has been brutal to everyone in the music industry. One thing which kept us all going these past few months, or in fact through this entire year has been music. Despite the fact that the music industry was probably one of the first to shut down, and still not be able to reopen completely, Indian musicians have taken this time to let their creative juices flowing. Every day we see a plethora of new songs being released and we at the Indian Music Diaries are creating our monthly compilation of the latest releases in the music scene.
1. Who Raat by Nikhil D’Souza
Singer-songwriter Nikhil D’Souza, widely known for his work in Bollywood, kicked off the new year with his latest single Who Raat. This dual-lingual song is the perfect blend of melancholy to reminiscence one’s feelings and emotions over relationships. The song is about reminding oneself that even a casual goodbye can prove to be a point of no return and how one needs to be more grateful and hold on to what is important, and be responsible for words, even if they are unsaid. D’souza’s mesmerising vocals and his whistling composition is definitely set to make one ponder about their emotions.
2. If I Tried by Sheil Sagar
Delhi-based songwriter, pianist and saxophonist Sheil Sagar released his debut single If I Tried. The track features a stripped-down acoustic arrangement with Sagar’s poignant vocals, with guitars, violin and piano. The song touches upon the emotions of confusion, fear, hope and desire. It’s an ode to the familiar idea that there is only one right person out there for us and conveys the hesitance in committing wholly even when the person feels right, because past experiences have become real fears for the future.
3. Wait by Ashwin Naik
Pune-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ashwin Naik released his debut single Wait. The track features Naik’s soulful vocals along with soothing piano, complementing the emotions tried to express in the song. The song portrays the longing and frustrations of lovers staying apart, written as an anthem for couples in long distance relationships during the lockdown period in 2020.
4. Forced Wanderer by Diyatom Deb
Shillong/Delhi-based singer-songwriter Diyatom Deb released his debut single Forced Wanderer. Besides his solo project, Deb is also the lead vocalist two bands namely SkyEyes and LostRADIO. Guitar strumming and a soulful melodica arrangement help define the song better. This track is about the feelings and emotions of someone who has to live the life of an immigrant all their life and how the new home is never really a home.
5. Incandescent Eyes by Evan Isaac & Shoals
Delhi-based electronic duo Utkarsh Varma and Sidharth Gupta who go by the alias Shoals, collaborated with Pittsburgh-based songwriter Evan Isaac to release their latest single Incandescent Eyes. This pop song has catchy beats fitting perfectly with the vocals, The song is about the longing and warm regret one feels in a relationship that seems easy but grows heavy on the shoulders.
6. Endorsement by Saila
Kalimpong (West Bengal) based Martin Sada who goes by the moniker Saila released his latest single Endorsement. This song is the fourth track released since December by Sada and his producer friend Sumiran Rana as part of their music catalogue where they release a new single every week. This hip-hop rap track talks about independency and is inspired by the independent business scene which has spiked in the recent years in and around Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Sikkim.
7. Tell Me Something by The Fortune ft. Shown O’Donnell
Songwriter and producer duo Dr. Dhananj Shivganesh and Nikhil Pradip who go by the alias The Fortune released their latest single Tell Me Something featuring Shown O’Donnell’s vocals. This pop funk song has the perfect amount of groove to uplift the listeners’ mood with a catchy hook.
8. Kabhi Kabhi by Nidhi Rawat
Singer-songwriter Nidhi Rawat released her debut single Kabhi Kabhi. This song is about her experience with anxiety. However, the aim of this song is to leave one with a feeling of positivity and thus made it into a “happy” song. Rawat’s vocals start off with a calming feeling, which later turn to be more jovial with melodious guitar strumming.
9. Weekend by Max Kate ft. Utsavi Jha
Mumbai-based electronic music producer, composer and pianist Maitreya who goes by the alias Max Kate collaborated with Utsavi Jha on vocals for his latest single Weekend. The song features happy catchy beats, giving off happy vibes with playful vocals which are sure to put the listener in a jovial mood. This is a song that dreams of a brief and clandestine getaway for two young women caught in the complexities of their own identities. It hopes for a few blameless days in the midst of lives that are full of unwarranted guilt trips.
10. Preet Aahe by Dinesh-Kapil
Marathi duo Dinesh-Kapil released their debut single Preet Aahe. This soulful Marathi song not only features a catchy melodious hook but also has a mellifluous flute and violin arrangement. This love song also has a video complementing it where it shows a couple crossing paths again in their old age.
11. Wajah by Aditya Tiwari
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) based singer-songwriter Aditya Tiwari released his latest single Wajah. Tiwari is known to create pop, progressive rock and semi-classical music. This latest pop track touches upon one’s emotions and is about a one-sided love story.
12. Homecoming by Tannison Mathews
Bhopal-based songwriter Tannison Mathews released single Homecoming under his solo project. Mathews is also known as the drummer and songwriter for his city-based band Bandishein. This pop-rock song is about friends having a much-awaited reunion at the end of the year. The last week of the year is marked by people getting back home to their loved ones and this is represented via a protagonist who finally gets a chance to go back home and meet people he calls his family.
13. The Pat Earn by Treble Puns
Bangalore-based duo Abhimanyu Roy and Sohini Bhattacharya who form the Treble Puns, released their latest single The Pat Ern. Just like their name suggests, the song name is a pun on the word ‘pattern.’ Just like their previous music, the duo had rock, Indian classical and electronic elements, with soothing soundscapes, giving a perfect blend to the listeners.
14. In The Name of Culture by Kill The King
Pune-based Thrash metal band Kill The King released their debut single In The Name of Culture. This song is also set to be part of their upcoming album later in 2021. The song speaks about the atrocities and hypocrisy associated with the pseudo-interpretations of culture. With distorted guitar solos and thumping drums, it makes for a perfect song for metalheads to headbang to.
15. Alive by Coordinates
Delhi-based progressive rock band Coordinates released their debut single Alive. The song represents an emotion of reliance, expectations and one’s constant need for endearment. It talks about how, when vulnerable, humans tend to seek motivation within themselves. The heavy guitar solos and drums, along with growls towards the end, made this song a perfect blend between progressive rock and metal.
With the future of live music still bleak, musicians can definitely use all your support. Stream their music, encourage them, give feedback, support them in any way possible. After all, music is what has helped in getting us through this year full of uncertainties.