Akanksha Sethi is a 23 year old singer-songwriter who has trained in Hindustani Classical music for eight years. The young and talented songstress is back with her latest single “Winter” and that’s the song we are reviewing here.
”Winter” talks about unrequited love. The words of this song come from a place of longing, uncertainty and remind us of the kind of love that could only last one season, and that too the shortest one. The song struggles to accept the reality of carrying on without that certain someone, yet, in some hidden corner of the heart, there will always be space for them to come back when they are ready. There is resentment, yes, but also hope, forgiveness and patience. This song is almost like a love letter we never sent. Sombre stuff to be sure, yet somehow life-affirming.
“Winter” has a compelling depth and freshness that makes this music work, regardless of whether you feel the same way about the song’s theme or not. Akanksha Sethi has got the chops where it counts: composition, vocal delivery and refreshingly clear sound design. A little over half of the song is beatless, yet intricate with Akanksha Sethi’s soulful vocals layered over innovative sound design. The ringing, glistening melodies hang on stately chord progressions evoking blurry memories and gentle melancholy. The track’s pacing is not glacial and it moves along very well, ensuring that we are immersed in the experience and never encumbered by it.
The immersive experience carries on as the beat starts slightly past the halfway mark and takes the song to its glorious crescendo. Akanksha Sethi builds the tension and resolves it masterfully, showcasing her skills as a songwriter. The track’s lean sound is many things at once: cosmic, soothing, dark, euphoric, muscular and even somewhat hypnotic. Even though the atmosphere is slightly grim throughout, it never stops being evocative.
Sprinkled with the cold, snowy textures suggested by the title, “Winter” is exploratory, texturally innovative and emotionally rich in wonder. Definitely worth diving into.
Verdict: As serene as falling snow.