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. Qareeb by Sankalp
Bhopal-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sankalp released his debut Hindi single Qareeb. This song was born out of a challenge and to combat writer’s block. This love song talks about what goes through a person’s head and heart when they meet someone special. After intently listening to this pop/soft rock track, one can notice the subtle western influences of the artist. This single is also part of his upcoming debut Hindi EP.
2. Shades of Grey by Nikhil D’souza ft. Raghav Meattle and Rajan Batra
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Nikhil D’souza collaborated with singer-songwriter Raghav Meattle and frontman of Hindi alt-rock band The Yellow Diary, Rajan Batra for their latest bi-lingual single Shades of Grey. Batra adding a Hindi verse to the original English composition by D’souza released almost eight years ago is definitely the collaboration we needed this year! While all three singers have phenomenal, yet distinct voices, they still sounded effortlessly seamless and passionate together, creating a mellow vibe you can’t help but appreciate. This track talks about our younger selves where we couldn’t see beyond black or white, yes or no and it is about the advice we would give ourselves if we could go back in time.
3. Midnight Lover by Tyesha Kohli
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Tyesha Kohli released her debut single Midnight Love. The term midnight love was one of the many prompts Kohli got from her audience and decided to build a narrative around it. Kohli’s smooth vocals are enough to remind everyone of a “midnight lover” they once had. This song is about such a person who refuses to go all-in but convinces you to stay put. It’s a reminder that our hearts deserve more than just a “midnight lover.”
4. Word Limit by Utsavi Jha
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Utsavi Jha released her latest single Word Limit. Just like her previous music, Jha doesn’t fret away from packing as much emotion and poetic lines in her song writing with this song either. This song is about a sense of yearning and longing to express love without a word limit. Jha’s captivating vocals and song writing give a dreamy, tranquil vibe to the listener.
5. The Suitcase by Mohit Mukhi
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Mohit Mukhi released his latest single The Suitcase. Originally a solo acoustic track, Mukhi decided to spice things up with a full band arrangement for the release of this track. With silky electronic guitar tones and alluring vocals, Mukhi definitely manages to capture the audience attention with the song reaching a crescendo.
6. 20Seventeen by AB Mike ft. Catchy
Delhi-based hip-hop artist Abhimanyu Singh Gehlot who goes by the moniker AB Mike collaborated with singer-songwriter and producer Catchy for his debut single 20Seventeen. This hip-hop track is a seamless blend of lo-fi, pop and rap elements to keep the song catchy.
7. Kaise Kahun By Maamuli
Delhi-based singer-songwriter duo Lakshay Khurana and Vardaan Malhotra released their debut single under their project Maamuli. The song talks about memories fading out with time and the confusion that comes with it. It’s about being unable to articulate your thoughts, dealing with chaos and spiralling into confusion. The simple, minimalist piano composition throughout the song and introspective vocals and lyrics go in sync with the meaning of the song.
8. Take my life with you by Sanjeev T featuring Sid Sriram & Mary Ann Alexander
Guitarist, vocalist and music producer Sanjeev T released his latest single Take My Life You. This song is the fourth single for his album Future. This song is a collaborative effort with Sid Sriram and Mary Ann Alexander on the vocals. This lo-fi track is about the journey of a person whose partner is battling with suicidal thoughts and letting them be, without advice or direction, yet constantly holding them close, despite being pushed away.
9. Ghosts by Palindroma
Nitin Muralikrishna’s fusion electronic, Indian, acoustic project Palindroma released his latest single Ghosts. This song is about the feeling of being ghosted by the person you thought was the one and contemplating their past where they had an opportunity to love. With electronic elements, a catchy pop hook, Indian classical elements consisting of sitar and tabla, and a poem recitation make this track gripping for its listener.
10. Kaancheck by D’evil
Mumbai-based rapper Dhaval Parab who goes the moniker D’evil released his latest song Kaancheck which is produced by Karan Kanchan. Kaancheck is a slang for a slap or a smack. Parab’s tongue-in-cheek humour in this song is a dialogue around the need for restoration of the dented law and order system in society. This satirical track with the background police van sirens, witty lyrics and a humorous video give the perfect Mumbai vibe with pandus, sakubais and visual landscapes.
11. In the Dark by Vishnu Varma
Kochi-based singer-songwriter Vishnu Varma released his latest single In the Dark. This song is about a journey of love about how everything that matters in life. Varma’s alluring vocals compliment the crescendos which metaphorically represent the highs and lows of love in life.
12. Goodbye by Ritwq ft. Rishabh
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Ritwik Punjwani who goes by the alias Ritwq collaborated with pianist Rishabh Jain for his latest single Goodbye. This song is about someone who is in a toxic relationship and trying to get out of it and finally reclaiming themselves at the end of the relationship. The mellow, soulful piano composition with Ritwik’s calming vocals give this song a certain kind of dichotomy present in love and relationships with subdued dream beats towards the end of the track.
13. Mauka by ROL The Band
Mumbai-based band ROL released their latest single Mauka. This track is about taking a moment or a ‘mauka’ and being grateful and celebrating the things that have brought us joy and made our lives worthwhile. This multi-genre band is known for their high energy live shows and the same feeling can be experienced even through the screen for this single. With catchy beats and a hook, this song is definitely made to make the listener groove.
14. Hey Buddy by Strafish
Manipal-based alt-rock band Strafish released their debut single Hey Buddy. Musically, the band varies its style from old-school hard rock to melodic blues. This song talks about the inefficacy to exhibit one’s feelings and inner thoughts to someone. The distorted heavy guitars, thumping drums symbolise the helplessness and desperation one starts to feel.
15. Silence On The Radio by Nalin Vinayak ft. Mayank Mittal
Delhi-based composer, music producer and audio engineer Nalin Vinayak collaborated with frontman of Delhi-based punk-rock band Kapow! – Mayank Mittal for his latest single Silence On The Radio. Vinayak describes this song as a feeling of your life flashing before your eyes when you are on a drive and your favourite song plays. This funk/rock track paired with Mittal’s lacey, almost dreamy vocals portray a rather upbeat fun vibe to the song with chill guitar tones.
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