‘Love at first sight’ is a familiar theme that has been immortalized in music time and again. Aanchal Shrivastava attempts to give her own spin to this concept with the playfully soothing single Chalat Musafir. An indie-folk tune to its core, the song makes use of quintessential desi instruments like the dholak and harmonium along with a tinge of lazily-paced drumming and electric guitaring.
The song is dedicated to random encounters during the nascent stages of love, capturing the feelings of naivety and uncertainty. Shrivastava has already had a notable body of work offering the best of her powerful vocals set against folk tunes. One observation from this discography is that she is more than proficient in handling both mellow and cheery tones. Chalat Musafir clearly belongs to the latter category but it still doesn’t reach the point of being annoyingly chirpy.
The multi-instrumental production definitely helps in setting up the mood, offering a spontaneous dose of some much-needed positivity. An animated music video supports the song and is equally nostalgic as it represents two individuals exchanging glances from their respective balconies. The song adds to the simplicity of such encounters while not bothering itself with the deeper notions of romance. The approach succeeds and Chalat Musafir might make for an instantly catchy tune for many aficionados of traditional/folk-driven pop.
Overall, the songstress’s musical style is equally laidback and she effortlessly carries the song for a familiar yet impressive sound. Until some time ago, Shrivastava had won over new fans after her rendition of Din Shagna Da was recorded for a pivotal lesbian marriage scene in the Amazon Prime Video series Four More Shots Please. A track like Chalat Musafir also seems to have the potential to be featured on web series (preferably one that centers upon a yesteryear small-town romance).
Verdict: A indie-folk update on old-school concepts of love.