Chennai-based singer and one-half of the duo Tabby and Sanjai, Tabitha Kagoo was one of the three winners chosen as the winners of last year’s online contest to recognise up-and-coming musicians. The contest was held by Compass Box Studios (an Ahmedabad music space that yielded some memorable compilation albums recently) and the distribution company OK Listen, and chose Kagoo out of nearly 300 entries, along with vocalists Anoushka Maskey and Sheil Sagar.
A recent performance of Kagoo’s track Ephesians 4:26 was recorded live at Compass Box Studios that made for a soulful rendition in itself. Joined by Maskey for the background vocals, Be Easy hitmaker Chirag Todi on the guitar, and an ensemble of instrumentalists, the gospel and folk-inspired singer evokes several tones with a calm, composed, and melodious demeanour. The result is a peaceful work channeling the emotions one might go through in the journey of ‘letting go’.
Sacrificing requires a mixture of emotions: anger accompanied by frustration eventually giving way to maybe compassion and acceptance. If one is to listen carefully, Kagoo’s lyrics brim with a blend of such philosophies which is understandable given how the song’s title itself is a clear reference to Ephesians, the tenth book of the Bible’s New Testament. The track’s closing lines do reference the titular verse, ‘Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,’.
Despite its religious undertones, Ephesians 4:26 still brims with universal themes and natural metaphors that as discussed before, can be left open for interpretation. And that’s how the song’s elements also contrast. Even if the verses offer a lot to unpack, the poetic elements are still writing in a simple fashion, while the ambient instrumental rearrangement of this version flows smoothly. For instance, Harmish Joshi’s clarinet provides a standout melody throughout.
All in all, the slow and jazzy take on the track works in Tabitha Kagoo’s favour and even though the overall sound might get a bit repetitive for a few listeners, Ephesians 4:26 still makes for a memorable live track that’s bolstered with a general air of positive energy.
Verdict: A live rendition that’s somewhat stoical and easygoing at the same time.