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Indie Music Reviews: May 2020

Reviewer Rating:

Kya Tum Naraaz Ho? – Raw (Tanmaya Bhatnagar)

Tanmaya’s voice brings to mind the sound of distant rainfall, the sight of Saturday afternoon sun on the pages of a dying book and the promise of garam chai from someone you love. Her flinty-yet-full tone is perfect for giving voice to longing, as she does in this song. 

The track is about persuading a beloved to abandon their anger and return. Bhatnagar’s gentle, almost hesitant intonation is perfect in expressing the pliant sadness of a lover in supplication. The sense of utter vulnerability is complete, and beautiful in it’s unpretentiousness. 

Bhatnagar spins a mournful narrative, almost a lullaby. It is balanced on a handful of strings, it hits emotional peaks with a cozy, stripped back melody. When she serenades with “Jaane bhi do/Dil todo na aise“, there is a lack of artifice that is distinctly refreshing. Bhatnagar does not sing or play more than absolutely necessary to reveal her broken heart, and diligent pursuit of a minimalist aesthetic is more admirable than anything else. 

Her feathery vocal timbre takes the song away from all performance. She is not singing for an audience, but rather to unburden a heavy heart. There is the distinct feeling that we, as listeners, are eavesdropping on her as she murmurs a prayer for resurrected love into the sky.

Baatein Purani (Rohan Puntambekar ft. Raman Mahadevan)

An obviously pleasant song that echoes one of the most frequently offered (and least frequently followed) fragments of human wisdom: let it go. In his second single, Rohan Puntambekar plays it safe, using a relaxed mix of instruments to pace his rhythms. His vocal presence, too, is comforting and predictable. While the song is certainly made for easy listening, it might just be what the listener needs to lighten their heated heart. 

One might worry, of course, with regard to the song’s (and artist’s) memorability. If Rohan is using this release to dip his toes into the carnival of indie music, it is an adequate point of entry. But, as of this song, it is hard to detect his signature sound, as the piece does not depart from the typical singer-songwriter melancholy that no longer stands out. 

Granted, one can always wait for further offerings and hope that a more distinguished artistic persona emerges. For now, we will have to be satisfied with 4 minutes of uncomplicated assurance.


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