Fresh off his past releases like Vibin, producer Kevin Shaji aka Pina Colada Blues recently dropped his new single Iravukal/Nights. As has been the case with Vibin, the artist reliably delivers ambient feels to listeners of ‘smooth’ genres like chillwave and R&B. Written entirely in Malayalam, Iravukal Nights sets a new precedent for Malayalam R&B, a fate that he achieves thanks to his own musical prowess and his guests XACHIN and GWS.
XACHIN takes control over most of the track, crooning the verses with a comfortingly laidback style. Mary Lia Paul’s lyrics evoke poetic emotions as they are written from the perspective of romantic aftermath. The male protagonist grows bitter with time, not getting over his ladylove leaving him.
All he has with him are the ‘fading memories and unhealed wounds of love’. The imagery grows richer as the central character seems to wait for his beloved, hoping she comes back. This is expressed with the metaphor of him holding a lantern in the bleakness of nighttime, as she sails away with no intentions of washing back to the shore.
Complementing XACHIN’s melancholic tone is GWS’s interlude. Through phased-out vocals, GWS adds more flavor to the song’s bittersweet taste with a smooth flow suited to lo-fi variants of trap and R&B.
And then, of course, Pina Colada Blues deserves all the credit for putting the act together with a consistently engaging aura. Right from its opening beats to an outro riddled with electric guitar licks, the producer proves his mastery over the tune. Finally, Iravukal/Nights goes on to show the artist’s versatile tastes in experimenting with diverse sounds and languages. Most of his work might fall under ‘ambient’ subgenres but that doesn’t imply that his style is getting monotonous.
Verdict: An extremely calming work of new-age R&B.