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. Empire of Fear by Anoushka Maskey
Singer-songwriter Anoushka Maskey released her latest single Empire of Fear on the anniversary of the lockdown. This song is also part of the pan-India singer-songwriter contest hosted by CompassBox Studio and OKListen. The song is inspired by the dilemma of wanting to stay updated with the news and everything happening in the world and in your personal life, while also wanting to detach from it and try to stay sane. Compared to her previous music, this song is a fresh new upgrade to Maskey’s style with a step-up on the production and composition including trumpets, violins and a dreamy video to compliment the song.
2. Still by Sheil Sagar
Delhi-based singer-songwriter, pianist and saxophonist Sheil Sagar released his third single Still. This song is also a part of the pan-India singer-songwriter contest hosted by CompassBox Studio and OKListen. It is a collection ofthe thoughts and feelings we have all had at some point in our lives. It aims to instil an intense rush of nostalgia and a sudden realisation that moments passed by will never come back, leaving us with sombre sadness. With this single, Sagar sets a tone regarding his music with his alluring vocals and jazzy-laid back tunes.
3. Let Me Be by Viewing Party
Dubai/India-based four-piece band Viewing Party released their latest single Let Me Be. This pop-rock track has a catchy hook and guitar riffs which are on loop throughout the song, along with a prominent bassline and tabla percussion besides just drums to give it a more Indianized touch to it. The music video shows the band’s experiences, life and song-making process in Dubai.
4. Khaare Raste by Raghav Kaushik ft. Yashika Sikka
Noida-based singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of Delhi-based rock band Nomadic Jam, Raghav Kaushik released his latest single Khaare Raste in collaboration with Yashika Sikka. The song is a representation of all the hurdles that we face in a relationship and how we strive to keep the love afloat. This song is dedicated to all those who have ever been in love – to our innocence, pain, vulnerabilities and hope that keeps us together. Kaushik’s mellifluous vocals with soulful flute composition describe this feeling in the most heartfelt way possible.
5. L8 Realisation by Triveni ft. Moli
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Triveni collaborated with multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Moli for their latest single L8 Realisation. This song is a tribute to Triveni’s late father. This jazz track starts off with her father’s voice which was from a tape from his 20s. L8 signifies the time of eight years since she lost her father. With poignant lyrics, soulful vocals, this track portrays the pain and grief which the then 13-year-old artist wanted to say but couldn’t.
6. Aaj Kal by Moosa Saleem ft. Umer Farooq
Kashmir/Mumbai-based songwriter, author, filmmaker and music composer Moosa Saleem collaborated with independent singer and artist Umer Farooq for their latest release Aaj Kal. With indie-pop elements and poignant vocals and lyrics, musically this song sticks to the roots of Farooq’s previous music – heartfelt in every way! It is a song about how someone walks into your life and they, unknowingly, spin your whole world around and make you feel complete in ways you’ve never known it could happen.
7. What I Want by Zaee
Mumbai/Devgad-based artist Zaee released her latest single What I Want. This track also features her debut music video, showing the landscapes of Devgad and Indian classical dance. Musically, this song draws Hindustani classical music elements along with Western pop. Despite being in English, the track has soulful Hindustani classical vocals and a soulful tabla composition. This song is about reclaiming our lives after the loss of love.
8. Beyond Your Blues by Chirag Todi ft. Vrnda Dhar
Ahmedabad-based songwriter, composer, guitarist and also the founding members of the band Heat Sink, Chirag Todi collaborated with singer Vrnda Dhar of The Revisit Project for his third single Beyond Your Blues. This track is part of his upcoming EP Panodrama. This jazz-fusion song with Dhar’s laid-back harmonic jazz-y vocals is about a musician/performer struggling to understand themselves and belonging somewhere, as they reach out to something that’s real enough and make them feel like they’re loved genuinely, for who they are.
9. You belong with me by Prabhtoj Singh and Aman Sagar
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Prabhtoj Singh released his latest single You Belong With Me in collaboration with Aman Sagar who produced, arranged and mixed this song. The music video accompanying this song gives a glimpse of the scenic views of Dharamshala. Singh’s breezy vocals give the song an acoustic, comforting vibe. Singh has written this song for a friend and says how this just one of those songs that come to your mind in the heat of the moment and you’re compelled to write it down.
10. Khud Se Baatein by Kartikye Gupta
Dehradun-based singer-songwriter Kartikye Gupta released his latest single Khud Se Baatein. It is also the first single of his upcoming debut EP by the same name. This Hindi pop track with heartfelt lyrics is undoubtedly a song for the soul! It emphasizes upon the importance of communication with self and our loved ones on a superconscious level.
11. Icarus by When I’m Human
Dehradun-based musician Yash Nath Jha who goes by the moniker When I’m Human released his latest single Icarus. This electronic experimental track was created with an aim to develop an alchemy and freedom in his sonic conditioning. This track can be classified as Intelligent Dance Music (IDM) and has an amalgamation of industrial, bass and glitch elements.
12. I’ve Danced with the Devil by MEHR
Delhi-based singer-songwriter MEHR released her latest single I’ve Danced with the Devil. Thumping drums and a prominent bassline, along with powerful vocals give this song an alluring vibe, which give justice to the song name.
13. Closer by Khanvict
Pakistani-born/Surrey-based producer and artist Asad Khan who goes by the moniker Khanvict released a single Closer. For the music video, he collaborated with model/activist Seema Hari and filmmaker Anjali Nayar. The song and music video is inspired by the powerful stories of the black and indigenous communities where they explore how colour and caste affect and infect the South-Asian communities.
14. More of Anything by Tannison Mathews
Bhopal-based songwriter, also known as the drummer and songwriter of Bandishein, Tannison Mathews released his latest single More of Anything. With soaring vocals, laid-back jazz-y tunes and guitar solos makes this song a blues rock ballad. The song is about two people who are uncertain about their future. The melodic guitar solo at the end is the perfect blend of blues and rock.
15. Yeh Shaam by Shubham Kabra
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Shubham Kabra released his latest single Yeh Shaam. This song is an ode to beautiful sunsets and remembers all those little yet precious moments we tend to overlook in our bustling life. This acoustic pop song with Kabra’s dreamy vocals strikes a chord with the listener, making it their own story.