Second Sight, the sonic brainchild of Anusha Ramasubramoney and Pushkar Srivatsal, has finally arrived with its highly anticipated full-length debut album, Coral. Spoiler alert: the wait has been well worth the while.
Primarily made up of studio recordings of their live performances, Coral is an insightful exploration of emotions which sharply delivers brilliance that is far beyond the expected realms of a “debut”.
Rich in texture, both vocal and production-driven, this album features the skilful work of fellow musicians like RANJ and Princeton, along with the likes of trumpeter James Cronin, clarinet player Paul Cutlifee, pianists Vatan Dhuriya and Pedro Carneiro Silva as well as drummer Shivang Kapadia.
The impressive list of collaborations doesn’t end there. Bombay Brass and Blackstratblues guitarist Warren Mendonsa also lend to the immersive jazz experience on Coral, elevating it to greater heights.
The 10-track album opens with the irresistible acapella arrangement ‘When the Moon Was Ours’. It is a hypnotic, harmony-laden tune that spotlights the duo’s complementary voices, giving listeners an early sneak-peek into the pair’s love for evocative and gritty songwriting.
This rich opener serves as the perfect dive board as the duo wastes no time launching into the rest of this sonic feast. Their previously released single, ‘Dim Lights’—a commentary on trolling and the general toxicity of social media and the media world—arrives next. A sultry, textural jazz track, this one plays with pace wittily.
‘Helpless’ featuring breakout act RANJ, is next line. Anusha and Pushkar’s vocals shine through airy vocal riffs, asking “Why do I feel helpless?” before RANJ’s verse drops the mic on this reflective track. Aptly following up is the track ‘Fragile’, which speaks of similar themes. This 6-minuter combines the grooves of bar-jazz and the gentle sway of a lullaby—it’s comfort in a song.
Next up is ‘Poison’, an arrangement-heavy track that combines both layered instrumentals and voice work. ‘One’ picks up where ‘Poison’ leaves off. Featuring a baritone rap verse from Princeton, ‘One’ speaks of romance in cool, R&B tones.
Winds change with the next track, ‘La Hermosa Tristeza’. It is a breezy tune that will leave you feeling like you’re sitting in the middle of swaying palm trees. The mysterious ‘Make Me Better’, a darling of a track, reaches listeners next. Ripe with sickly sweet lyrics and the lilt of the duo’s vocals, this one is an unsuspecting love song placed in the midst of Coral. Featuring a rock-y instrumental break at the bridge section, this one is definitely the most unpredictable track of the lot.
Coral closes with two bonus tracks – an acoustic rendition of ‘Dim Lights’ and a live recording of their track, ‘Little Plastic Raincoat’, a quintessential indie-acoustic arrangement. After all that jazz, this acoustic pair of tunes leaves some much-needed room to breathe and let it all sink in.
Second Sight’s Coral is a remarkable win for the duo, a forever-bright spot on their discography and the beginning of an exciting musical journey. With a debut album as powerful and self-assured as this one, it’s not a far fetch to say they’re bound for bigger things.
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