Best New Music: Week 40

This week’s best new music is a mix of heartbreak and hope, with a dash of eclecticism featuring Rono, Subhi, Tech Panda and Frizzell D’Souza.

Rono – Lost and Lonely

Not to harp on the alliterative route too much, it is hard to not comment that Rono has been on a roll of late. Fresh off the release of Sienna Tapes (of which, ‘Shantiniketan’ made it to our list some weeks back), Rono is back, with a single this time.

Rono’s latest release, ‘Lost and Lonely’, for better or for worse, leaves little room as to the thematic intent of the song. With Rono’s deft hand at the electric guitar, the arrangements go to great yet subtle lengths to let the urbane melancholia of the song linger. The chorus, with the titular words in candid admission, soars, trembles, and settles, untangling the emotional knots of the listener all along the journey. The song also comes with a music video comprising a cast that brilliantly captures the song’s essence.

Subhi – Laapata (feat. Kanishk Seth)

Acoustic songs when done right have just a way of getting to you, and ‘Laapata’ is one of those not so rare instances. Sung by Subhi and supported on vocals by Kanishk Seth, the song dares to soar in incessant grace. The fact that ‘Laapata’ starts on the melodic, yet humble notes of the ukulele hardly prepares the listener for the experience to follow.

Subhi’s voice, powerful in all the crescendoes and troughs, almost makes Kanishk’s vocal inclusion in the last chorus redundant. Percussion is assisted by handclaps, and the inimitable exoticism of Subhi’s voice expands the song into a sonic valley that would have been beyond the listener’s anticipation. Lyrically as sweet as it is musically hopeful, ‘Laapata’ is a swooning fest sure to cure your midweek blues.

Tech Panda & Kenzani, Aneesha, Konark Sikka – Kahani

This week’s round-up has a musical oddball coming your way, of course in (mostly) a good light. ‘Kahani’ is the product of a collaborative effort, with Aneesha, Tech Panda & Kenzani, and Konark Sikka, and the artistic eclecticism reflects in the song.

‘Kahani’ is a bilingual song, spanning just a bit over five minutes, with the first and last stanzas in Hindi and the three in between in English. The vocals are indulgent and sultry, and in conspicuous contrast with the techno beats that sustain the song. Lyrically speaking, the song has not much to say, and presumably neither does it pretend to have. The moodiness that the song engenders in the listening experience is, for better or worse, the biggest takeaway.

Frizzell D’Souza – The Hills Know Of You

Frizzell D’Souza, luckily for the listener, just does not seem to know how to stop breaking hearts. If you thought ‘Just As Easily’ had brought it all out of her, ‘The Hills Know Of You’ will crush you in a heartbeat.

The surprise with which Frizzell blends vocal ease and lyrical longing makes every modicum of the song. Listeners and songwriters alike know all too well how easy it is to give into indulgence when it comes to heartbreak. ‘Just As Easily’ charts a territory of subtle restraint, while the immensity of the yearning that fuels it is unnervingly tangible. Saturated with love and delicate tenderness, ‘The Hills Know Of You’ is as perfect a love-song as they come.

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