Akshit Dhall is a 20 year old independent singer-songwriter from Pune whose life is driven by a desire to travel across the globe and take his music into the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Akshit Dhall has performed across the country and has developed a distinct style of telling stories through his songs. Engaging with his audience is what Akshit Dhall lives for. The young and promising singer songwriter released his debut EP “30th of February” earlier this year.
The six track EP was thematically centred around a teenager’s life experiences, making it extremely relatable to the listeners. The title track of the EP is a beautiful song. However, Akshit Dhall doesn’t just croon about puppy love through his songs. The song “Heartbeat” deals with mental health issues caused by sexual harassment. It ended up on Spotify’s editorial playlist called New Music Friday India. Now he has released the track “Coffee” as a single which deals with the issues surrounding same sex relationships in India, and that’s the song we are reviewing here.
“Coffee” deals with a topic that is a major taboo in the Indian society, homosexuality. Akshit Dhall sings from the point of view of a lesbian woman who has constantly been told that loving another woman is wrong and she should stop yearning for it. As she sits by herself and dreams of holding her lover in her arms one day, Akshit Dhall’s soulful voice sings her soliloquy.
“Coffee” starts with a calm and gentle sliding guitar melody set against shuffling hi-hat hits. It does a great job of setting up the beautifully insightful vibe of the song. Akshit Dhall sings the lyrics in a soft and heartfelt tone. He infuses the lyrics with a lot of soul and passion and it becomes very evident that he is living vicariously through the song’s protagonist’s experiences. He proves the fact that we don’t have to go through everything ourselves in order to understand the trials and tribulations of others. Emotional empathy is one of the greatest powers that we have as humans, and “Coffee” is a great manifestation of that power.
Musically, “Coffee” has a rich and full accompaniment which provides a great medium for Akshit Dhall’s lyrics to flow. The simple acoustic guitar chords coupled with the delay and reverb laden electric guitar lines add a lot of sonic beauty to the song. The rhythm section is tight and keeps everything grounded. Great job on mixing and mastering the track as well, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
“Coffee” isn’t a song that pushes an agenda. Any art form that pushes an agenda tells you how you should feel about something. “Coffee” is not like that at all. It just tells the story of what a lesbian woman is feeling. How you feel about that, is entirely up to you. The freedom to choose is one of the greatest joys of life after all.
Verdict: Masterful delivery of a touching story.