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Indie Review: Bar talk by Raghav Meattle

Reviewer Rating:

Raghav Meattle is a Mumbai-based singer-songwriter, who is famous for his tuneful melodies and heartfelt songwriting. However, he doesn’t see himself as a mere musician, he considers himself to be a storyteller who is trying to unravel the world we live in through his music. A journey to the semi finals of the Colors Infinity show, The Stage turbocharged Raghav Meattle’s music career. He released his debut album ‘Songs From A Matchbox” through crowdfunding and has since taken his brand of ‘vocal first’ music around the country. He has performed at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Ranthambore Music Festival, Ctrl Alt Del and more. He also lent his voice to Abhay Deol for critically acclaimed director Meghna Ramaswamy’s ‘What Are The Odds?’, which premiered at the prestigious Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. Raghav Meattle is back with a fantastic video for the song “Bar Talk” from the “Songs From A Matchbox” album.

If you are wondering why the music video is being released two years after the album, here’s why. “Songs From A Matchbox” is a crowdfunded album, and at the time of its release, it was extremely difficult for Raghav to produce more music videos than the ones he had already released. Executive producer Risheeta Agarwal, who really loved the song “Bar Talk” came up with the concept fo a video portraying same-sex relationships and Raghav was completely sold. One of the reasons behind Raghav’s appreciation for the concept was the fact that “Bar Talk” involved social commentary about sensationalism.

The Aneesh Malankar directed video was shot entirely in Mumbai by Debashish Remy Dalai. The onscreen couples in the video are portrayed by famous model, singer, actor, drag queen and activist Sushant Divgikr, Eric Matthew Knowles, Ridhisha Balani and Franaita Jijina. The video starts off with a very joyous tone and the couples portray some beautifully shot romantic moments which are bound to fill everyone’s heart with joy.

However, the video ends with a twist. We won’t spoil it and you will need to watch the video to find out what it is. Raghav Meattle was
unable to participate in the video’s production process as he was stuck in New Delhi due to the nationwide lockdown. As expected, he didn’t like the fact that he missed out on the video’s creation process. But he is definitely thrilled at how the video turned out to be.

“Bar Talk” is a song that deals with the uncomfortable things we forget to talk about, but need to make part of our day to day conversations. Straight off the bat, the song has a nice beat and a strong, interesting rhythm that keeps you engaged throughout. While the instrumental rhythm
never overpowers Raghav’s voice, it does have consistency and conviction.

That’s a very important aspect of any rhythm in a “vocal first” type of song. We are happy to report that “Bar Talk” executes that perfectly. The track utilises just a single strummed guitar but Raghav Meattle makes it interesting by inducing subtle changes in the rhythm and dynamics to avoid
making it sound like a mechanical strum throughout.

The track’s melody is tuneful and well shaped. It might not be catchy or anthemic but it is definitely memorable, and infinitely replayable. Raghav Meattle’s voice has a distinctive, rich, warm and expressive tone and he infuses real feelings into his lyrics. Many people will be able to relate to what he is singing about in this song. The music video for the song follows the stories of two couples in bittersweet relationships. It’s beautifully conceptualised, shot, and produced. The performance level of everyone involved with “Bar Talk” is really high. Even the actors in the video do a great job of conveying their emotions.

Verdict: “Bar Talk” is a distinctive and original song, with a beautifully made video that deserves your undivided attention.

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