Maalavika Manoj aka Mali has released ‘Mango Showers’, the first song of a full-length album that Mali plans to release over the course of the next year. The single is accompanied by a music video directed by Jishnu Guha and shot by Krish Makhija.
The plucky guitar notes and Mali’s velvety voice draws us into the song. As the song glides by, more elaborate textures and instruments are layered over the patient percussion. We get soaring strings and opulent synths peppered all over the chorus with double tracked vocals – eerily reminiscent of Annie Lennox’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”. The production is lush and lavish without drawing our attention away from Mali’s effortless vocals dancing away into the soundscape.
This serene piece of music is accompanied by an abstract and atmospheric music video. Without being too flashy, the moody lighting and dancers wearing masks adds an Eyes Wide Shut-esque surrealism to the video. We see Mali strapped to the chair and blindfolded with her breaking free from these restraints at the end only to drop dead. The objective meaning is open to interpretation but the emotional depth of it all is difficult to overlook.
There is an argument to be made about the line separating intuition and delusion. The underlying paranoia that drives all of the decisions we make in our adult lives. How do you know that a simple signature could trigger a chain of events that would lead to your ultimate demise? You don’t; but you can try. You start with picking up on red flags by taking off your rose coloured glasses. Chennai-born and Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Mali thinks there is a lot to be learned about our life choices from nature – in particular, the “Mango Showers” that caution us of the heavy monsoon that is to come.
Released at a time when parts of our nation are fighting disastrous floods, Mali draws a powerful analogy between the impending doom and hurdles with how the monsoon works on “mango showers”. The seed of the inspiration was a real life event when she took heed of the red flags that popped up during a record deal. However to Mali’s credit, her songwriting abilities enables the listeners to project their own experiences and emotions onto it without the song losing a shred of relevance.
The song was produced by Rohan Ramanna, recorded at Island City Studios and features Tejas Menon (guitars), Jehangir Jehangir (drums), Stuart DaCosta (bass guitar) and Ajay Jayanthi (violin).
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