Be it in the form of oversaturated cliches or fresh saturations, the notion of “first love” has been a recurring theme in indie-pop music since its very early days. Sukoon, the latest offering by singer-songwriter Neyhal, falls in the same line as such lyrical undertones albeit with a slightly fresh approach.
Set against a Jason Mraz-like acoustic arrangement, Neyhal’s vocals are reminiscent of a younger Prateek Kuhad or Raghav Meattle. The lyrics are gleeful and naive as Neyhal opens the song with how the skies turn “baingani” (purple) and “gulaabi” (pink) whenever he sees the one he adores.
It is clear that this is a quintessential first love song. As the protagonist in the narrative gets butterflies in his stomach with one look at his muse, he attains “sukoon” (calmness). Sukoon plays out as an adorable testament of puppy love with its fair share of past influences.
Sonically, Sukoon might not be the most wildly original single on the release radar. But given how cliched the romantic subgenre of independent pop songs in India has become, Sukoon actually works pretty well. If one were to sit and compare, Neyhal’s previous two singles Mere Tum and Lamhe Zaroori are perfectly complemented by the new one.
Still, it is too soon to judge his sound as his discography still seems to be in the nascent stage. As he releases his new singles, more perspective will definitely be offered and listeners would know if he can step out of the shadow of past indie pop stalwarts who wield the acoustic six-stringer.
Till then, stream Sukoon if you need a relaxing love ballad to end the week. There’s something about Neyhal’s naive charm (be it in his lyrics or vocals) that works in the song’s favour.
Verdict: A simple and adorable acoustic love ballad.