It’s been more than a year in India that the music industry had to put an indefinite halt on all live shows. These live shows were a massive source of income for most musicians but instead of being frazzled, they came up with various alternatives in this past one and a half year. While some really started digging and being accepting of these online shows, some buried themselves deep into their work and releasing original music. While we did get a glimpse of what could be the new normal in the music industry a couple of months, we are back to square one now.
The only consistent thing in the industry has been the constant new releases by established as well as new musicians. We, at The Indian Music Diaries, recognise this talent by creating our bi-monthly compilation of the latest releases in the music scene.
1. Bano by Tushar Lall ft. Hansika Pareek
Music composer and founder of The Indian Jam Project Tushar Lall released a latest single called Bano with Hansika Pareek on the vocals. This song is about Asifa Bano, the Kathua rape case victim in 2018 and it is from her mother’s perspective. The grim feeling is expressed throughout the track with an orchestral approach towards the start which eventually fades to a simple haunting instrumental composition which sets and depicts the dark theme shown in the chilling video.
2. Ashwatthama by The Spindoctor ft. Gravity & Poetik Justis
Doctor, beatmaker and hip-hop DJ The Spindoctor collaborated with hip-hop artists Gravity and Poetik Justis for their latest release Ashwatthama. This track shows The Spindoctor’s versatility as a beatmaker and a DJ with his catchy beats and a gripping hook. The verses are inspired by multiple excerpts from Mahabharata, talking about phenomena of immortality and also reflects on the remarkable complexities in our mythology.
3. At An End by Browncoat
Nawed Khan who goes by the moniker Browncoat released his latest track At An End. This electronic track has been released JEE Productions, a label run by Jerome Isma Ae. This lockdown project for the DJ resulted in this single coming together as a melodic techno track.
4. Vice by Burudu
New York/Mumbai-based duo Burudu released their latest single VICE. This song speaks about one’s innate desire to inadvertently head back into the direction of something that they know harms them. With catchy yet soaring synths and electronic beats throughout the hook of the song and a short rap-like chorus with repetition of the same lines seems methodical to the listener to recall.
5. Waiting by Dhruv Kapoor
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Dhruv Kapoor released his latest single Waiting. Sticking to his style, Kapoor has maintained his soft vocals but sonically this single follows a more minimalist production approach and also dabbles into soft melodic blues guitar licks which compliment his vocals. Overall, it gives a soothing relaxed vibe to the listener. This song is about appreciating the people and things the most we value in hindsight.
6. Ramayana by Akshay The One
Ludhiana-based rapper and producer Akshay aka Akshay The One released his latest single Ramayana. This track is a commentary on the deep-seated hypocrisy that has seeped into every aspect of the society. With a music video which is straight out of a 90s video game, groovy hip hop beats and poignant vocals and lyrics, this track is enough to grab a listener’s attention.
7. Sitaara by Ravator X Anand Bhaskar
Delhi-based music composer Ravator collaborated with Anand Bhaskar – songwriter, composer, vocalist and also the frontman of Carnatic Hindi rock band Anand Bhaskar Collective for their latest single Sitaara. This song is a complete treat to the listeners as it blends a number of elements namely Ravator’s electronic beats, Bhaskar’s Carnatic/rock style of singing, a melodious flute composition. The best part is that all these elements seamlessly go well together. The song is about the voice within you telling you to have faith and confidence within yourself.
8. Depths by Parthiv Saikia
Jorhat, Assam-based guitarist Parthiv Saikia released his debut single Depths. This instrumental rock track has traces of Saikia’s various other genre influences such as modern metal, jazz piano and old school rock. Musically, this shows his expertise with this debut instrumental track not being too loud on the ears, but also at the same time being perceived as an old school rock track, from a melodic and a harmonic perspective.
9. Ebb & Flow by Kalbaisakhi Ft. Shreyaa
Vibhu Singh under his electronic act Kalbaisakhi collaborated with Delhi-based singer songwriter Shreyaa for their latest single Ebb & Flow. The electronic house beats paired with lo-fi music and Shreyaa’s ambient vocals creates a sonic soundscape, which is not only catchy but also gives a chill vibe. It is an anthem for the summer spent reminiscing the old days, with the hope that the best is yet to come.
10. M.S Krsna by Maranthathey
Chennai-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and composer M. S Krsna released his latest single Maranthathey. This song is about those of us who want to fly but leave our wings tied to things that don’t matter. A catchy hook, melodious vocals and an arrangement consisting of violins and mouth trumpet make this a fun pop song that is quite a treat to the listener.
11. Nakabandi by Mohak
Mumbai-based rapper, singer, songwriter Mohak released his latest single Nakabandi. It means the police checking on the streets of Mumbai. The rapper draws a metaphor between the literal translation of the word which is ‘blockage’ and the creative block faced by artists and creators due to the lockdown. This trap song pays homage to the police as seen in the video who have been out there throughout the pandemic, making sure everyone is safe and indoors.
12. Hood Waali Baatcheet by Abhishek Roy ft. The Rapping Machine
Jamshedpur-based rapper, songwriter and lyricist Abhishek Roy collaborated with The Rapping Machine for their latest single Hood Waali Baatcheet. Rappers in the ‘hood’ talk about corroboration, creed, and creativity but this song is a hip-hop arsenal for those who want to survive in the industry.
13. Adima by ThirumaLi ft. Mona Mula
Kerala-based rapper and songwriter Vishnu MS who goes by the moniker ThirumaLi collaborated with Indonesian Dutch singer Mona Mula for their latest single Adima. This bi-lingual track talks about the enslavement system in the society. It is motivated by the Indian social system as the country has been created by oppressing a large percentage of people. The song ends by saying that everyone is free and no one is a slave to anyone.
14. Nee / Naan by Krithika Nelson ft. Santhosh Jayakaran
Chennai-based singer-songwriter and voice actor Krithika Nelson released her debut single Nee/ Naan featuring Santhosh Jayakaran on the piano. This pop song stems from a place of heartbreak and pain with Nelson’s soulful vocals and a hauntingly calming piano composition. This song follows every heartbreak – the moment where you say the final goodbye and move on.
15. Survive by Sanjay Sugumaran ft. Joshua Kirubagaran and John Mozart
Rapper and producer Sanjay Sugumaran collaborated with John Mozart and rapper Joshua Kirubagaran for their latest single Survive. This bi-lingual track in Tamil and English is a dedication to Sugumaran’s father, K. Sugumaran and everyone who has lost a family member to COVID-19 and all the frontline workers who are risking their life. This song is about a journey of emotions between the loved one battling for his/her life inside the hospital and the family feeling the same pain mentally outside.
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.