A singer-songwriter and guitarist, Nikhil Swaroop’s soulful repertoire of originals and indie covers have garnered acclaim all across India from Sofar Sounds, The Piano Man to Zomaland 2.0. Nikhil Swaroop has been a prolific songwriter for more than a decade, writing music for the past 11 years. It has been an outlet for him to talk about his various life experiences such as relationships and heartbreaks.
Nikhil’s versatile singing style helps him cover a wide array of genres ranging from Indie Folk to Pop. Earlier this year, Nikhil Swaroop released his debut single “Sitaaron Ka Saaya” which was well received across all platforms. Now, Nikhil Swaroop is back with his latest track “Mann Ae Mann” and that’s the song we will be reviewing here.
From the outset, “Mann Ae Mann” has a very ambient feel to it. It’s almost as if the song was produced by Brian Eno. Just about every note on the song is like a pebble dropped in a pond. It sends out ever widening ripples that fade away slowly, but not before certain tones linger and swell until they get etched in your memory.
The song’s melody might not be inherently catchy and you might not be singing it aloud very often but you are definitely going to remember it. There is a lot of music packed into the three and a half minute package. Listen closer and certain small frequencies emerge and flutter like silky feathers in a gentle breeze. The song has an airy, dreamy feel to it. The beautiful assortment of instruments coupled with the layered vocals of Nikhil Swaroop turns the weightlessness into an almost spiritual exaltation.
Dissecting “Mann Ae Mann” into its different sections and analyzing it is a futile endeavour. It is a song which has to be enjoyed as a whole. We aren’t saying that the song’s individual parts are bland or unremarkable, it’s just that everything is so interwoven that if you pull at the threads and try to analyze them individually, you will be missing the point completely.
It’s only fitting that a song about the mind is so hard to review in the usual manner. After all, who can explain the weird machinations of the human mind? Only you know it, and only you can feel it. And that’s’ what we will ask you to do with “Mann Ae Mann”, feel it.
Verdict: Musical dreamscape.