A 20 year veteran of the Indian music industry, Sanjeev Thomas, famously known as Sanjeev T is a highly accomplished guitarist who worked as A.R. Rahman’s lead guitarist for 10 years. Sanjeev T is also the founder of Rainbow Bridge, a music studio and institute in Bangalore. After releasing “Not a Love Song”, the first single from his album “Future”, the internationally acclaimed guitar maestro has teamed up with promising Bangalore based rap artist, Loud Silence. The result of the collaboration is “Rain”, the next single from “Future”, and that’s the song we are reviewing here.
“Rain” continues Sanjeev T’s experiment with lo-fi sounds. Being stuck in his house during the lockdown forced him to find inspiration from within. That has resulted in very innovative and fresh sounding songs that are very different from his previous works.
The song “Rain” speaks about the new phase where we have had the need to face many new problems that give in to their own consequences. Even after the pandemic passes, things might see a permanent change, a change in how we may feel different about the rain, but yet, only to realize, that like everything else in life, it’s through the challenges, that we will find ourselves and our loved ones again.
“Rain” starts with a slow and easy lo-fi beat with a sampled audio track of a voice talking about staying in the room and watching dark clouds coming down, hovering over the blue sky. That leads to a looping sound that grows in volume until it cuts out and Loud Silence starts dropping his bars.
In typical lo-fi hip hop fashion, the music is a great amalgamation of traditional hip hop with smooth jazz elements that creates a relaxing and soothing atmosphere for the listeners. Loud Silence’s bars are dropped in a non aggressive manner at a low volume to keep up with the relaxing vibe of the song. He holds his end well and does a great job of adding to the song’s atmosphere.
Musically, “Rain” is a great manifestation of Sanjeev T searching for sounds instead of notes on his fretboard. The guitars are dripping with delay and reverb that adds to the dreamy vibe of the song. The guitar sounds are layered perfectly over one another and linger over the chill beats in a magical fashion. One of the highlights of the track is Sanjeev T’s use of delay heavy harmonics to embellish different sections of the track. They sound even better as a result of the track’s perfect mixing and production.
With “Rain”, Sanjeev T embarks on a masterful exploration of the sonic capabilities of his guitar. It isn’t about how many notes he can fit in a bar, or how many slick bends he can put in a solo, it is about the kind of sounds he can create. A job well done on that end.
We live in a different world today, and Sanjeev T’s different approach to guitar playing and songwriting on “Rain” resonates well with the times. It’s conceptualized and executed with a different perspective, and perhaps that’s what we need right now.
Verdict: Drenched in lo-fi swag.