Originally hailing from New York but now based in Ahmedabad, Meera Desai (known mononymously as Meera) often performs jazz with her group The Meera Desai Quintet along with balancing pop, folk, and Hindustani Classical. In her new single Keys, she takes a light-headed, ambient pop approach.
The song’s title can be understood from what Meera witnessed at the beginning of the pandemic-induced lockdowns. Her parents had started sorting out all the keys of the household as unsure of what each one even locked. Maybe, this is what triggered a sense of uncertainty prompting her to write this track touching upon the overall futility of everything.
Underneath Meera’s breezy vocals is this sense of deep-seated cynicism (or should I rather say acceptance). After all, the Keys’s final minute features several voices repeating the phrase “We Give Everything Away” over and over again.
This outro does sound mellow but also comforting at the same time, not just because of the atmospheric production but also because of the sense of reality it presents. We might spend all our life gathering keys and opening locks but in the end, we would carry nothing with us to the afterlife. That’s obviously one of the several interpretations that a listener can have with an introspective track like this.
The production is adorned with slow-paced percussion and strumming, suiting the simplistic nature of the track. Even though it clocks at 5 minutes, the duration suits Keys as it provides enough time for the song to space itself out before the aforementioned outro.
On a sidenote, the production along with the mixing and mastering has been conducted at Ahmedabad’s Compass Box Studios. Helming several rising artists and their originals in the recent months, Compass Box is consistently emerging as a notable studio in the indie space.
Verdict: A thoughtful and bittersweet reminder of “giving everything away”.