Naren's indie round-up/ Feb 2023, Ep 1


Gaurav Bangia/ Chal Pada...

Label: Self-released 

Rating: *****

This is one of the most moving tribute songs one could hear. In 'Chal Pada...' , Gaurav Bangia pays homage to playback singer KK, who passed away on May 31 last year.

Gaurav's timbre and intonation do complete justice, and Rahul B. Seth's lines are apt. "Chal pada naya safar pe, saaz ki har lehar pe, ghul ke yoon fizaaon mein beh chala" and "Main milta hi rahoonga yaad banke aapse", he writes.

Pawan Rasaili's guitar solo adds to the vibe. Ajinkya Deshmukh's video blends Gaurav's shots with images of KK. It's the kind of song that could make you shed a nostalgic tear - it did that to me.

Gayatri Asokan & Amarabha Bannerjee/ Girte Hue Boondon

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ****

Vocalist Gayatri Asokan gets together with singer-lyricist Amarabha Bannerjee and sitar exponent Purbayan Chatterjee on 'Girte Hue Boondon', a song which blends a pleasant melody with uptempo rhythm.

The lyrics are commendable, from the opening, "Girte hue boondon mein tum ho, saagar ki lehron mein tum ho, dariya-e-ishq ke maazi tum ho" to "Pyaasi hoon main aur saahil tum ho" and 'Mehke hue har pyaale mein tum ho".

Gayatri sings for the first couple of minutes before Amarabha comes on in this four-minute track, with both getting into harmonies. Interludes on Purbayan's sitar and Nakul Chugh's keys lend variety. The video makes it look like drops are falling down the screen. That adds a twist to an otherwise-routine film.

Hitesh Rikki Madan/ Dil Mera Kho Gaya

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ****

It's always nice to hear an acoustic guitar- driven ballad, if composed and sung well. Delhi-based Hitesh Rikki Madan's new song 'Dil Mera Kho Gaya' is one such number.

Vishesh Verma's black n' white video adds to.the charm, as Hitesh sings, "Tera hua kyon is tarah, tera hua dil mera, kho gaya". Focusing on the singer, guitar, a table, a wine bottle, two glasses and a candle, it's a classy film.

Lyrics have been co-written by Hitesh and Manish Dhawan. Besides guitar, Hitesh plays ukulele and keys. The arrangements and voice match.

Aneesha/ Just Want You

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ***

A former child psychologist, Aneesha decided to whole-heartedly pursue her passion for singing. She's released an EP titled 12:12 earlier, and is now out with her latest single 'Just Want You'.

The song blends synth-pop with contemporary rhythm n' blues. Aneesha has been influenced by singers Banks, Tinashe and Dua Lipa, but sings her own way.

The song, inspired by a friend's relationship, is written from a female perspective. It's got a clubby sound too, and one can simply tap one's feet along.

Arrows feat. Riya Duggal/ Another Avenue

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ***

Every few months, Arrows, the brainchild of composer-producer David Britto, releases a collaboration with a different artiste. The latest one features Riya Duggal, part of the sister duo Simetri.

Produced by Jason D'Souza, 'Another Avenue' is an upbeat pop song with lines like, "Do I need to spell it out, what do I have to tell you?; are you gonna know somehow, that I'm always thinking of you?"

Interestingly, the bassline was the first piece of music David wrote in 2018. The rest of the song took time. Maybe he was waiting for the right voice.


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