Naren's indie round-up/ Nov 2023, Ep 4


Ravi Iyer/ Ceasefire

Label: Self-released 

Rating: ****

Here's a powerful tune about the impact of war on a child. Written and performed by Ravi Iyer, it is a timely call for ceasefire in these strife-torn times.

Ravi uses a gentle guitar in the backdrop as he structures the song as a conversation between child and mother. The song ends, "We are the children of tomorrow, let us live to bring a better day. We don't know. No war. This is a call to ceasefire".

Though it's a short piece at two minutes and 18 seconds, it creates a powerful impact. 

Raman Sharma/ Falling Again

Label: Molfa Music

Rating: ***

On his new single 'Falling Again', 18-year-old Raman Sharma talks of the feeling of being in love, from the initial nervousness to boldly expressing one's feelings. The song is mostly in English, with a few Hindi words thrown in. Hinglish, you may call it.

For his age, Raman has a good sense of songwriting, both in tune and words. Yet, the singing could have had more expression, as many parts have the same monotone and drawl.

The video, featuring Raman and Anuvrinda, is clearly aimed at the younger lot. It's one of those cute videos that teenagers will relate to.

Arrows feat. rinaldo & Brent Tauro/ Southern Belle

Label: Self-released 

Rating: *** 1/2

Mumbai-based Dave Britto's collaborative project Arrows takes the acoustic route on its latest song. Titled 'Southern Belle', it features singer rinaldo and producer-pianist Brent Tauro.

Backed by Siddharth Basrur's acoustic guitar, rinaldo sings Dave's lines, "You deserve to be loved even when you're learning to love your self" and "I'm glad I got to know you, and your artsy ways".

The song has a simple country-laced pop sound that takes you back to the radio tunes of yore. Though the ending seems long-drawn on initial hearing, the piano-guitar-voice interaction grows on the ear.

Harbola Blues feat. Bombay Brass/ Harbola Blues

Label: Self-released 

Rating: *** 1/2

When multi-instrumentalists Bharat Chandore and Jayesh Malani visited the Nimad region of Madhya Pradesh, they discovered a lot of folk music. During the Pandemic, they visited the Chichli village and recorded some of these artistes. On the album Nimad, they have blended this traditional fare with some modern/ western instrumentation.

The second Nimad single 'Harbola Blues' is just out. It features singers of the Harbola community, along with Bombay Brass, the brainchild of saxophonist Rhys Sebastian. Thus, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and guitar blend with raw and rustic voices from the hinterland.

The song 'Pyaro Pyaro' by Balkrishna Dhangar and Aftab Sadri Qawal Party was released first. Besides the album, Nimad has also been presented as a thematic concert directed by Warren D'Sylva. They had their first show at St Andrew's Auditorium last month, as folk, qawwali and devotional chants mingled with sounds of the now. Earthy, experimental, eclectic.

The Dharavi Dream Project/ Tribute To 50 Cent

Promoted by: The Dharavi Dream Project

Rating: ***

With hip-hop icon 50 Cent performing at Navi Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium on Mumbai, the city's rappers thought it was a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to their icon.

The result a special tribute by The Dharavi Dream Project, a kind of relay rap performance featuring MC Josh, Kavikaar, Saniya MQ and Siva G, with a group of artistes.

The song has a rugged streetside energy with the lines, "Boys and girls, can you make some noise, agar hip-hop se hai pyaar toh phir raise your voice". Rap along.


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