Listen: Rinky Sharma’s debut EP Tangled

On a cold and rainy night at bFlat, Bangalore, singer-songwriter Rinky Sharma stepped in front of a microphone and set free her most complex emotions in front of a dazzled and dimly lit audience. After being rooted in a band up to 2014, her decision to become a full-time musician took shape in 2017 with the release of cheerful songs like ‘Zindagi’.

In our climate of excess, her new EP Tangled finds itself in a unique position. There is nothing indulgent, or extravagant about the instrumentation or the vocals. There are no overwhelming bells and whistles to make the five tracks over 20 minutes seem larger than life or breathtaking. Instead, Rinky is set on charting a path built on minimalism and honesty. Featuring songs in both Hindi as well as in English, Tangled is a crisp, cohesive and self-aware journey of love, complicated relationships and personal redemption.

Rinky’s vision does away with elaborate soundscapes in favour of intimate guitars and a few strings and percussions here and there. However, much of the impact of the songs ride on her smooth and velvety voice. Her lyricism on “Ankahi” and “Somehow” has an upbeat melancholic quality to them and read like Rinky trying to lick her wounds and reflecting on her past mistakes. On these tracks, Rinky is raw after what seems like a recent bout of heartbreak and loss and is trying to internalise and deal with it.

This leads to the upbeat title track which features some lush strings in the intro. Rinky comes out of the despair in the previous songs and has now restored her faith in love. Her sweet, saccharine vocals and infectious optimism bring a liberating and fairytale aesthetic to the track. ‘Zindagi’ is a reflection on how you must go on a journey similar to the one portrayed on the EP to get past any emotional distress and find what you are looking for out of relationships. Love is what you need it to be, and life isn’t going to drop any of these answers onto you. ‘Flame’ is easily the stand out track of the EP with its roots in power-pop and is a powerful closer to the EP. Her empowering and soaring vocals encourage us to not give in to gravity, to not be drawn to the temptation of love like a moth to a flame. Instead, Rinky implores us to regain control of our emotions and trudge along towards a future consisting of relationships tailored to our own desires.

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