Monthly Playlist: Best of May 2019

This month’s playlist features new music from a host of musicians including Indian independent acts Peter Cat Recording Co., and Sourav Dey, as well as Indian film composers Amit Trivedi, Santhosh Narayan. Also, featuring on the playlist are unmissable international tracks from Tyler, the Creator, the Hives, and Flying Lotus among others.

PCRC – Where The Money Flows

The politically charged single from Peter Cat Recording Co. was accompanied a partly hilarious and partly quirky music video that took Prime Minister Modi’s infamous demonetisation policy to court. The video dropped just two days ahead of the general elections in Delhi, and went hand in hand with the band’s vocal support of the Aam Admi Party. Aesthetically, the song takes cues from the crooner and swing music from the 40s and 50s while adding some autotune to the vocals. The vocals and production are sparse and minimalistic.


Sourav Dey – Aas Paas Yeh Dooriyan

One of the quieter releases this month, the soulful single from Sourav Dey and other vocalists makes every second count towards a visceral experience. Filled to the brim with honest and down to Earth passion but elevated by the impressive craftsmanship of each musician, the track moves and pulsates through its glistening keys, syncopated percussion and a melodious flute performance


Tyler, The Creator – EARFQUAKE

Tyler. The Creator’s risky and ambitious follow up to his universally acclaimed Flower Boy brought us a musical experience that we haven’t experienced before on IGOR. In the completely self produced album, ‘EARFQUAKE’ stands out as a singular achievement in blending soul, R&B, bits of Jazz and dream pop. Tyler’s pain stricken vocals blend seamlessly with the backing vocals and wall of sounds that he creates using synths, loops and drum machines.


Kumail – So Long

Featured on the Around the World India compilation by Mixtape, Kumail’s latest is cool, crisp, and tacitly ominous. The track exhibits a melancholic incisiveness that has been characteristic of the Mumbai producer’s previous atmospheric creations.


Raveena – Mama

An emotional single from Indian-American R&B singer Raveena Aurora, ‘Mama’ is an ode to the travails of the immigrant mother. The heart-rending single was released with an equally evocative music video, a lovely montage of clips featuring Raveena, her mother and grandmother, just in time for Mother’s Day. The track features in Raveena’s upcoming debut album Lucid.


Amit Trivedi – Matvaare (from India’s Most Wanted)

In a barely passing album from Amit Trivedi, Matvaare is the melodious track and saving grace sung by Sanah Moidutty and Jubin Nautiyal. This is a zone that one instantly connects with the National Award winner (a la Guddu Rangeela and Manmarziyaan).


Justin Prabhakaran – Pularaadha (from Dear Comrade)

The singer of the moment Sid Sriram gets another distinct winner from the composer of the moment (at least in the South) Justin Prabhakaran. ‘Pularaadha’ from the upcoming Vijay Deverakonda starrer Dear Comrade, is an arresting composition, achingly beautiful melody that checks every box off long-shelf-life list.


Santhosh Narayanan – Kulirudha Pulla (from Oththa Seruppu)

Sid Sriram

One of the must-hear contemporary Indian film composers, Santhosh Narayan weaves a beautiful, melancholic melody in ‘Kulirudha Pulla’. Even for those who don’t understand the lyrics (this writer included), the gloominess is conveyed through Sid Sriram’s stellar emotive vocals.


black midi – Talking Heads

With only a smattering of shows the last year or so, and a social media presence that is scant if not nonexistent, this UK quartet is a strange beast. Subsisting with a handful of live recordings and ONE single, black midi have been turning heads wherever they play. ‘Talking Heads’ is only the band’s second song to see the light of day and it is a cracker. Mixing the best bits of predecessors like Minutemen and XTC, the song is a frenetic romp packed with jagged guitars and superbly layered drum parts over the howling and yelping lead vocals. The song sounds vibrant, and the band, full of purpose and potential.


The Hives – I’m Alive

This month saw the return of familiar faces, notably the Raconteurs and Black Keys. Both bands put out safe reminders of themselves, each backed by neat videos reintroducing the gang. Both sounded tired and jaded, their respective trick-bags not as bottomless as previously believed. An unlikely “victor” in all of this are Swedish quartet the Hives, with their first single in four years. While the song channels classic Hives bravado, the band opts for a more mid-tempo stomp which pays dividends. The main hook comes with a self-referential “Did you miss me? Here I am.” You bet we did!


Sufjan Stevens – Love Yourself

Sufjan Stevens has dropped two new tracks in anticipation of Pride Month. Apparently based on a demo the singer made in 1996, ‘Love Yourself’ is a lovely, quiet, synth-pop style song with plenty of optimism, something that makes sense in context of Pride Month, but also what is generally being sought after in the current state of affairs. These new songs mark the first release of music from Stevens since 2018’s ‘Lonely Man of Winter’.


Flying Lotus – More (feat. Anderson .Paak)

Flying Lotus’ new album Flamagra is packed with great songs, exciting featuring artists — including David Lynch — but it is ‘More’ that features Anderson .Paak where one sees his inimitable style really kick into gear. The song starts with a smooth jazzy intro and you’d think that’s where you’re headed. But FlyLo is not one to bore you with the predictable. He switches style, and doesn’t let the listener settle. Listen with your headphones.


Listen to all the songs mentioned on this list on ‘The Perfect Recap’, a playlist you can find on A Humming Heart’s Apple Music and Spotify profiles.

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