Shadow and Light’s story began in Delhi when 19 year old Pavithra Chari approached Anindo Bose, keyboardist of the Delhi based band Advaita and asked him to produce her vocal demo. Bose was so impressed by the demo that he went on to write an entire arrangement around the piece and three months down the road, the duo ended up writing another song together. Shadow and Light plays a fabulous fusion of electronica, jazz, blues and Indian Classical Music. For more than half a decade, they have released three studio albums in English and Hindi, until Yarum Illai that is in Tamil. It’s the band’s first single of 2020 and we will be reviewing it here.
Yarum Illai is an original Tamil song (the duo’s first). It also happens to be a collaboration with famous Tamil vocalist Haricharan. The beautiful track depicts an artist’s journey of seeking inspiration in the pursuit of art. It very easily morphs into a love song as well. Lyrically, the song is poetic and flows as beautifully as a river cascading through the Himalayan foothills. Even if you don’t understand the language, you can hear and appreciate the flow of words very easily. The video contains English translation of the words but it’s not really needed to appreciate this as a piece of music. If you want to understand what all the words mean (and you should), do watch the video but the incredible vocal performances of both Pavithra Chari and Haricharan ensure that your ears can feel and appreciate the tuneful melody without even understanding what they are saying. Like all great songwriters, Shadow and Light haven’t just chosen words and phrases for their meaning, but for their sound and natural rhythmic qualities as well. As one of the verses go Kavidayaai Unai Kan Den..Isaiyaai Urumaarinaai, this song has all the hallmarks of becoming your verse of love, your music.
Anindo’s Bose musical arrangement is extremely tasteful and does a great job of complementing the vocals of Pavithra Chari and Haricharan. Watch out for the short and sweet keyboard solo just before the two minute mark, it is really good. The music is extremely expressive, without sounding insincere and overdone. The performances are top notch and there isn’t much else to do for a reviewer than point you towards the play button. Enjoy!
Verdict: Yarum Illai has the power to remain etched in the mind of its listeners.