Listen: Tell Me Now (The Hope Anthem) by Various Artists

Whether on the TV, social media, phone calls or even Google news suggestions, the pandemic has penetrated every aspect of human lives. With increasing cases and deaths, the panic and fear felt by most are real. Mental health has been taking multiple nosedives daily. In such a grave atmosphere, hope is a costly commodity.

That is precisely the rationale behind a song composed by Kolkata-based musician Aditya Majumdar. Produced by the non-profit Y-East, ‘Tell Me Now’ (The Hope Anthem) is a simple song with a singular objective of bringing some necessary light into the cave of horrors: the Indian subcontinent today.

Written and sung by Majumdar, Pauline Laravoire and Meghdut Roychowdhury, the song asks listeners to open their eyes and see the rampant pain and suffering outside their windows. Further, it spreads the message of coming together and caring for society even if the situation seems apocalyptic. Lines like, ‘You won’t be alone, together we will show, the world that we know can shine’, can help lift spirits when everything seems to fall apart.

The music is also humble. It starts out on arpeggios played on acoustic guitar while an electric guitar makes some atmospheric bends, setting a soothing precedent. The guitarists, Bodhisattwa Ghosh and Adil Rashid navigate the soundscape throughout.

The low-key bass, played by Mainak Nag Chowdhury, and drums, played by Kahani Punjabi, join up and make their presence known only during the energetic chorus. The sound is something that could have been easily cooked up in Daughtry’s backyard.

The other vocalists include Saul Samuel, Tanya Sen, Gaurab Chatterjee and Sambit Chatterjee, who also plays the tabla during an interlude that takes the song into an Indian classical trajectory with a slide guitar solo that reminds one of Led Zeppelin.

While it might not be a remarkable composition that will be sung for years to come, it is exactly the song that is required now. Hearing it just might make the effort of simply getting up every day a bit easier. In a nutshell, the line ‘This world must survive’ sums up everything that the 5-minute long track is trying to say.

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