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. Good Night by Takar Nabam
Arunachal-based singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Takar Nabam released his latest single Good Night. He is known for his deeply personal nostalgic storytelling and a narrative style of songwriting along with his guitar skills. This melancholic ballad is about a feeling of sleeplessness almost everyone has experienced when they don’t hear back from their loved one. Good Night is about a night where all the insecurities creep in and makes one realise what they have lost. Nabam plays on his strengths with his spot-on storytelling and smooth guitar tunes.
2. Stay With You by Priyanka Nath
Hyderabad-based singer-songwriter Priyanka Nath released her latest single Stay With You. This song is about a person describing her time with her lover; the uncertainties that come with falling in love again, the stories they’ve shared that only bound them closer with time and the mere thought of having someone to share bits and pieces of your life with. This acoustic song has a simple composition with just guitars and piano and Nath’s soothing mature vocals, making this a mellow track.
3. Yaman by Bombay Bandook
Mumbai-based Indian classical fusion band Bombay Bandook released their seventh single Yaman. They are known to be genre-fluid and their latest track is a perfect reflection of their sound. It takes elements of dance rock, disco, pop-rock and blending it with Hindustani Classical vocals on Raag Yaman, with hints of Asavari. This song is a romantic song but it is more about living in the moment and experiencing the love and joy from it.
4. Miles To Coltrane by The Revisit Project ft Chezin
Delhi-based jazz fusion/funk band The Revisit Project released their latest single Miles To Coltrane featuring Chezin on vocals. This song takes us through the beginnings of a relationship and metaphorically compares the camaraderie and affinity that the couple share for each other to the legendary jazz duo of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Compared to the band’s previous releases, this is a more jazz-infused track with a slow-paced melodic saxophone which the band is known for.
5. Tyranny of Power by Won Tribe
India’s first female rap duo Won Tribe which consists of Pratika Prabhune and Krantinaari and is backed by Mumbai-based sound engineer and drummer PrabhNeigh released their latest single Tyranny of Power. This song is produced by former Asian Dub Foundation vocalist Deedar Zaman and musician Oskar Vizan. This bi-lingual rap track in Hindi and English talks about a global issue of leaders, politicians and people in power exploiting their position. The track is an eye-opener for people to the existing socio-political turmoil around them.
6. Hi This Is Stenfer by Stenfer
Delhi-based music producer Stenfer released his latest single Hi This Is Stenfer. This multi-genre artist majorly focuses on electronic, pop, hip-hop and dance music. This electronic track has a music video that has been made by Stenfer himself.
7. Bahana Mohak
Mumbai-based hip-hop artist Mohak released his latest single Bahana. This song serves as a yardstick of growth observed as Mohak as an artist. It is a pat on our back for celebrating our growth, not losing focus and working hard in these uncertain times. With a catchy hook, this song is an anthem that tells one to not be stuck in the past and move forward while cherishing it without any excuses or ‘bahana.’
8. Home by Andi Star
Jamshedpur-based singer-songwriter Andi Star released her sophomore single Home. This electronic track has vibrant dance induced beats and pop vocals along with catchy that beats are sandwiched in between a melodic piano intro and outro. This electronic-pop track is about breaking free from our old selves and following our dreams and passions and dancing away our negativity.
9. Jab Tum Mili by Sankalp
Bhopal-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sankalp released his sophomore single Jab Tum Mili. This is also the second track from his upcoming debut Hindi EP. Sankalp claims that this is the most extensive song he has come up with and that can be noticed compared to his debut single. This one is more upbeat, well-produced and the composition shows that he is getting better than every new song. The subtle saxophone and tambourine elements and the whistle outro definitely add to the upbeat, fun vibe of this song.
10. Addicted by Joshua Roy
Hyderabad-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Joshua Roy released his second single Addicted. Roy does not restrict his music to a specific genre and has a more experimental approach for each of his songs with influences ranging from metal, punk-rock, ambient-pop/rock, soft-rock, etc. This song addresses the concerns of partners who try to cling to each other in dead relationships. It gives a positive angle and explains the importance of letting go of the past and enter into a new life with new beginnings. With poignant lyrics, catchy chorus, this song is sure to keep you hooked.
11. A Lullaby for the Broken by Loozmathai
Kochi-based singer-songwriter Akhil Mathew who goes by the moniker Loozmathai released his debut single A Lullaby for the Broken. With Hans Zimmer as one of his inspirations, the song does have similar orchestral mellow vibes. The song has a sense of bittersweet calmness to it. Mathew’s soft peaceful vocals make this lullaby kind of song an interesting paradox for someone who is a heavy metal vocalist. The song is borne out of heartbreak and takes the listener through intense emotions, almost to the extent of giving goosebumps because of how heartfelt it is. Mathew has truly outdone himself with this song for a debut release.
12. Saansein by hashparker, notreal
Indore-based producer Harsh Choudary who goes by the moniker harshpaker released his latest track Saansein in collaboration with notreal on vocals. This hip-hop track talks about the aggression and the rage that has been bottling up in the minds of the common people during these challenging times. It gives a commentary on the political structure of the country with snippets of PM Modi’s speeches in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic which is used as satire.
13. Stealing Time by Midnite Djong
Pop-rock duo Midnite Djong which consists of two childhood friends Joydeep and Aryak released their debut single Stealing Time. This song is a brooding yet passionate lyrical longing of the songwriter in a world fresh to lockdown. It’s a weight that feels like a frustrating fall through a never-ending hourglass, gravitated by love. This song is a blend of elements such as bedroom pop, pop-rock, groovy guitar flicks, catchy hook and rhythm n’ blues.
14. Take Me Home (Pahadon Mein) by Semwal
Dehradun-based singer-songwriter and producer Shubham Semwal who goes by his last name released his latest single Take Me Home (Pahadon Mein.) Semwal wrote this song when he was stuck in Chandigarh during the lockdown and couldn’t go home. This acoustic indie folk song has a catchy tune which the listener can’t help but hum even after the song is over.
15. Shanmukhapriya -The Mystic by Purbayan Chatterjee
Renowned sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee released his latest single Shanmukhapriya – The Mystic which is also the first single of his upcoming collaborative album Unbounded – Abaad. This song is sung by Shankar Mahadevan and also features drummer Antonio Sanchez, Snarky Puppy bassist Michael League and percussionist and kanjira master Selvaganesh. The album further also has noteworthy collaborators like tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, mandolin master U. Rajesh, banjo pioneer Béla Fleck; keyboardist Jordan Rudess of the progressive metal band Dream Theater; longtime Pat Metheny drummer and jazz clarinettist Anat Cohen. This song has Carnatic music elements with a post-modern Latin jazz soundscape.
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.