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 the past one and a half years. 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 for 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. Jaadoogari by Anand Bhaskar Collective
Mumbai-based Carnatic Hindi rock band Anand Bhaskar Collective released their latest single Jaadoogari. This song describes the emotion of love in the way people feel it but isn’t restricted to a certain type of relationship. This song is for all the living beings in the world and is applicable to all the relationships they enjoy being in. The Hindi band take a different route with this single, moving away from their predominantly Hindustani classical style to a more pop tune, but still, maintain having a catchy chorus and hook in this track.
2. Boat of Soul by Rayna
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Rayna Lele released her debut single Boat of Soul. The idea behind this song is that some of the greatest wars are the ones within themselves. There is no denying that Rayna’s poignant lyrics and calming lullaby-type vocals are for the soul. This makes this acoustic track even more calming and comforting are her vocals and soft piano and guitar compositions.
3. Dastaan by Gaurav Tophakhane
Pune-based singer-songwriter Gaurav Tophakhane released his latest single Dastaan. This pop-electronic track has sweet synths and Tophakhane’s strong vocals with a catchy chorus and melody you can hum to.
4. Rue by Fish in the Sink
Kochi/Chennai-based rock band Fish In The Sink released their latest single Rue. This emo-punk rock song talks about fear and anxiety, hope and regret. It talks about the feeling of being weighed down by or insecurities, trying to rise above them, and still worrying about not being good enough. The band’s sound is an amalgamation of crushing riffs, rhythmic vocals, grunge-inspired guitars and progressive rock.
5. Panodrama by Chirag Todi ft. Warren Mendonsa & Shreya Bhattacharya
Ahmedabad-based songwriter, guitarist and composer Chirag Todi collaborated with guitarist Warren Mendonsa and vocalist Shreya Battacharya for his latest single Panodrama. This is also the title track of his debut six-track EP Panodrama. The song is about a young person struggling to fit in a world where conversations are superficial and where art is just another marketable product. This story stems from a personal anecdote when Todi felt out of place in school due to differences in tastes. This smooth R&B funk-rock track highlights the specialisation of each collaborator; from Bhattacharya’s R&B vocals, Mendonsa’s brilliant guitar skills, Jai Row Kavi’s drumming skills to Todi’s jazz-funk style which can be seen throughout his EP.
6. Lockdown Blues by Bhrigu Sahni ft. Groovy Butter
Mumbai/New York-based guitarist and composer Bhrigu Sahni collaborated with voice-over artist Gaurav Sajjanhar aka Groovy Butter for his latest single Lockdown Blues. Sahni wrote this song during the lockdown to vent his frustrations but the quirky lyrics make this groovy blues track even more fun. Besides the quirky vibe, what makes this song even more catchy is the melodic mouth trumpet by Sajjanhar. This song intends to lift everyone’s spirits and make them feel lighter about being locked at home. It is indeed a song to beat your lockdown blues!
7. Shapes In The Dark by Dreams I Forget
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter and experimental electronic artist Atharv Shukla who goes by the alias Dreams I Forget released his second single Shapes In The Dark. He’s also one half of the Mumbai-based duo Khoya Firdaus. This song is about finding comfort in the idea of being away from someone they care deeply for and Shukla draws a metaphor with the moon. This electronic pop song has subtle beats and also traditional Indian instruments like the table and harmonium towards making it a catchy tune.
8. Mess It Up by Nitansha, BaddMint
Delhi-based singer-songwriter Nitansha Tanwar who goes by her first name released her debut single Mess It Up in collaboration with bedroom producer BaddMint. This song was written by Nitansha for her brother after his break-up. This post-break-up journey has elements of R&B, and pop music with electronic music as the dominant aspect throughout. The song draws aggressive influences from electronic music, future pop fusion and future bass music.
9. Wajah by R.A.Z.I.E.L
Mumbai/Hyderabad-based trap music artist and rapper Neeraj Devde who goes by the moniker R.A.Z.I.E.L released his debut single Wajah. This bi-lingual hip-hop track talks about how people switched lanes as and when the time changed. Through this song, he wanted to share the feeling through a personal story of how he was bullied as a child but now the same people look up to me.
10. Khwaishein by Swastik The Band
Chandigarh-based alt-rock, folk-rock band Swastik The Band released their latest single Khwaishein. The song celebrates the feeling of love which happens in a second and stays forever. This folk-rock song has soothing vocals, a catchy melody and a chorus which one can’t help but hum after listening to the song.
11. All I Need by Davesar ft. Glass Lord
One half of duo Burudo – Nakul who goes by the moniker Davesar for his solo music act collaborated with Los Angeles-based singer and rapper Nelson Harris who goes by the alias Glass Lord for their latest single All I Need. This solo project is founded on the trinity of vulnerability, transparency and hope and the songs intend to explore the same. The artist aims to experiment with different soundscapes owing to his background in India, Mauritius and New York.
12. Places by Sol Sundae
Aizawl-Mizoram-based multi-genre band Sol Sundae released their debut single Places. If the band intended to make a name for themselves with their debut single, they definitely did. This laid-back, R&B, calming funk track with soothing vocals makes this a Sol song indeed for your soul. This band is another example of the immense talent in the northeast as they keep proving it with exceptionally good music.
13. Pretend by Heiwa
Bangalore-based five-piece prog-rock band Heiwa released their debut single Pretend. This single is part of the Anomalies series of oaf. under the tag Volume 2 of the Anomalies series. This progressive track has a fun melodic soundscape, giving the song an alt-prog vibe with loopy melodies.
14. July 19 by Shweta Srivastava
Lucknow-based singer-songwriter Shweta Srivastava released her debut single July 19. This song is a reminder of the sweet memories we shared with our people – our significant other, friends, family. It is a modern take on the life of an urban couple as they try to make ends meet. The simple piano dominated composition and Srivastava’s soulful vocals definitely have set a bar for her future releases. This song has been produced by The Yellow Diary’s Himonshu Parikh.
15. Kaun Bataye? by Dastaan Live
Multi-arts, art-rock collective Dastaan Live released their latest single Kaun Bataye? Known for their 360-degree virtual reality presentation and experience through live performances, spoken word poetry, visuals, lights, and other elements; this song lives up to this style with their crowd-sourced music video based on relevant issues in society. This modern-pop song has elements of rock, a sick smooth guitar solo along the right amount of funk to make the listener groove. It has been adapted from the writings of an anonymous poet and not just talks about the failure of society to adapt to modern times but also celebrates the fact that we will prevail in the face of such adversity to regain the humanity that we seem to have lost somewhere along the way. This song, along with the music video is an all-around experience in itself!
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.