Best New Music: Week 19

Another week in Indian indie music, another flood of positively listen-worthy music. This week saw tracks from Kairvina, Kappi Kat, Bann Chakraborty, Sidharth Bendi, Sammad, Tarun and 3 bhk, spanning a range of genres from acoustic pop to hip-hop. Let’s dive in.

Kairvina – Madeline

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter, Kairvina, kicked the week off with a resplendent and dynamic track titled ‘Madeline’. Produced by fellow musician and producer Sid Paul and mastered by Matty Harris, the track proves to be perfect for the summer. Carried by her honey-smooth, airy vocals, backed by a groovy bassline, a foot-tapping acoustic arrangement, and whimsical lyricism, ‘Madeline’ is a warm invitation to the season of summer love. As the artist explains, “So what if your crush doesn’t know you exist? Grab your guitar and write a happy-sad song about it (also dance to it)”. And, this one is easy to dance to. 

Kappi Kat – Idiosyncratic 

Mumbai-based alternative/ electronic (slash everything else given his limitless sound across genres) artist Kappi Kat released his 5-track EP, Nocturnes, this past week. And, ‘Idiosyncratic’ is the perfect entry into this offbeat project. Trying to capture the magic of a night that stays with you forever and “inspire(s) [one] enough to write a song”, this track explores different electronic, ambient and lo-fi soundscapes, while also introducing pure-music elements like jazzy piano (Tushar Lall), lilting vocals (Sannid Shah), guitar arrangements, electric and acoustic (Avneesh Gadgil and Joshi Brijesh), leaving no stone on the musical spectrum untouched. While the arrangement might sound a tad bit confused, the wonder of it all ties it together. 

Sidharth Bendi – it’s over 

Hyderabad’s Sidharth Bendi provides space to reflect with the mellow heartbreak ballad ‘it’s over’. Co-produced by Bendi himself, in collaboration with Mumbai-based producer Sudan, the track features haunting harmonies, vulnerable songwriting and an emotive, tug-at-your-heartstrings arrangement of strings. Fair warning: if you’re feeling even a tad bit emotional, keep some tissues handy because crying to this track is about as reflexive as pulling your hand away from a hot plate. 

Bann Chakraborty – Over n Under 

Keeping the Mumbai-representation strong this week is music composer, singer and performer, Bann Chakraborty. The artist, who has been a part of the music-making scene for quite a while now, began releasing independent music earlier this year – March specifically. His latest track, ‘Over n Under (Reprise)’ is one of the instalments in this direction. This track is an old-school acoustic-rock/ pop track that features disruptive elements like background rap interludes (performed by MC Delhi Sultanate), along with backing vocals by Indraneel Hariharan and Gucci Singh. It is supported by an energetic arrangement of bass, electric guitar, and up-beat rhythm.

Sammad, Tarun, 3 bhk – Shaandar 

Delhi trio comprising rappers and producers Sammad, Tarun and 3 bhk, light up the indie music scene with ‘Shaandar’. The track arrives as a pair on the 2-side release, ‘Shaandaar/Restart’, joining their last track, ‘DSS’ – all set to feature on their upcoming collaborative project, Gadbad. ‘Shaandaar’, which plays out first, is a hard hitting, daring track, owing both to innovative production courtesy 3bhk (aka Abhishek Nair) and cheeky rap flows from Sammad and Tarun. The cadence on this one is inviting and unabashed simultaneously, complete with fascinating stops and starts on the track, and self-assured lyricism. 

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