Naren's indie round-up/ Oct 2022, Ep 1


BY NARENDRA KUSNUR

Tune Up Channel/ A Letter

Label: Self-released

Rating: ****

Tune Up Channel is a synth pop-rock band from Nagaland. Though it's been around since 2015 and has a devoted following in the north-east, many in the rest of India haven't really been exposed to it.

Fronted by Sunep A Jamir, their new song 'A Letter' is about looking for lost love. A mock TV news bulletin recalls the sinking of the Titanic, and the story of Jack and Rose. The video has a period look with old-fashioned suits and ancient telephone instruments, with a man plonking away on a typewriter.

The lines "I'll send you a letter" has a catchy ring. A guitar solo by Temjen Lentur ĺs marvellously played. The best thing is that the tune sticks to you.

Arrows feat. Tejas/ Wish You The Best

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ***

The brainchild of indie composer and music journalist David Britto, Arrows involves collaborations with other artistes. The latest one 'Wish You The Best' features singer Tejas Menon.

The lines "Don't walk away, don't leave this place, if you do, I wish you the best" sums up the song's mood. The vocals by Tejas are expressive, with a dreamy guitar, synth and snare backing.

The animated video by Chinmay Patkar focuses on changing themes and images, though one doesn't see much connection to the song. The simple melody and smooth arrangement lend a good vibe.

VKRM/ Everytime I See You

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ***

Vikramjit Kundu aka VKRM blends rhythm 'n' blues with smooth jazz on his number 'Everytime I See You'. It's a song about finding love, and has a simple melody line.

The words begin, "Every time I see you, stars light up the sky, don't you know when you hold me, I can feel I can fly". Later, he sings, "Why don't we set things right, why don't you stay over tonight". 

VKRM has a good timbre, and the central solo adds a twist. The video is rather routine, though.

Mallika Mehta/ But Tonight I Wanna Cry

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ***

Over the past couple of years, singer Mallika Mehta has released a good mix of English and Hindi songs. Her voice has depth, and that comes across in her latest single 'Tonight I Wanna Cry'.

The song has a neat pop hook, with lines like, "But tonight I wanna cry, I sense I won't survive, tonight it hurts so bad, baby you're all I had". She then talks of moving on.

The audio works on the strength of its catchy melody and strong production. Mallika has the right expression too.


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Akrita feat. Shivani Patel/ Ghir Ghir

Label: Self-released

Rating: ****

Having learnt in the Mewati gharana, singer Akrita Shrivastava teams up with her guru Shivani Patel on this rain song set in raag Bageshree. It's a breezy number with an infectious lilt.

While the track has been written and composed by Akrita, music direction is by Anirudh Verma, who also plays keyboards. Rohan Prasanna plays some deft passages on sarod.

The two singers display perfect coordination, showing dexterity at taans and sargams. The classical aura gives it a special air and character.


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