Nyla Saldanha is a Bengaluru based singer-songwriter who was born in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). She moved to Bengaluru when she was 15. Her parents were supportive of her choices to move and travel and shared a close bond with her. She was especially close to her late father. As per Nyla Saldanha, she mainly communicated with her father through small talk over the years. That aspect of her life gave birth to the song “Small Talk”, which also serves as a eulogy to her deceased father, and that’s the song we are reviewing here.
“Small Talk” is a brooding, melancholy number that talks about the way Nyla Saldanha communicated with her father and how they managed to say a lot without saying much. According to Saldanha, she and her father felt pain in the same way. He was diagnosed with depression in 2019. For four years till then, Saldanha was based in Mumbai. Around that time, Nyla Saldanha and her father didn’t do much more than small talk during their conversations.
However, she believes that the brevity of their conversations didn’t trivialize their relationship or weaken the father-daughter bond. Both Nyla Saldanha and her father battled suicidal thoughts and she had planned for a long conversation with her father during Christmas last year. However, her father took his own life before that and the long conversation never happened.
Musically, “Small Talk” has a very minimalist arrangement with a simple and sweet guitar rhythm embellished by a melancholy string section to add to the song’s sad, melancholy vibe. Nyla Saldanha delivers an impassioned performance and every word that she sings is bursting with emotions. She uses harmonies very well to embellish her vocal performance and add more emotion and depth. The song is mixed and produced well and definitely exudes the atmosphere that Nyla Saldanha wanted to convey.
Verdict: A melancholy, haunting, pained number.