“An open door and the world to explore/ Why complain?/Is it oh so mundane?”
Chennai-born and Mumbai-based singer Maalavika Manoj, who goes by Mali, asks a poignantly simple question to our lockdown-bound selves this year in her new single.
With a voice that invokes everything from sunny winter walks to balmy starlit rum-n-coke, Mali brings light to the common element plaguing most people – boredom. You’d think it wouldn’t be possible to spin a catchy, cascading bop from a rather boring (literally) topic, but Mali can.
Her lyrics flutter from the uncertainty clutching early youth,
“Twenty-one and the pressure’s on”
and the seemingly desirable stability of what we like to call a “settled” life,
“You’ve got a steady job, the kids, the house, the wife”
while her chorus underpins the fact that life remains mundane no matter where you go, unless of course, you do something about it.
Musically, Mundane has a billowing, uninhibited quality that doesn’t jump out at you, choosing instead to do it’s indolent dance in the background. As a listener, you can let the song take you to comfortable places without paying much attention. Mundane is the kind of track that you can set on replay and simply sit with.
Verdict: Straightforward in it’s charm. Asking a serious question with the aesthetic and appeal of a summer breeze. If you listen hard enough, Mali will enchant while raising your eyebrow.