Elevate Your 2024 Playlist With These Feel-Good Melodies
Curated by musician Keval Shah
In the heart of India’s diverse music landscape, a quiet revolution is underway, led by independent musicians who are captivating audiences with their thoughtful creations, offering a refreshing departure from mainstream beats.
Presented in no order, these tracks come from both established and emerging talents, each distinguished by its unique genre, concept, and style. Don’t miss the chance to include them on your playlist.
Aunty Ko Tato Bagaicha
Bangalore-based Kalimpong and Calicut-origin group Gauley Bhai’s track, ‘Aunty Ko Tato Bagaicha,’ draws inspiration from the transformation of the Teesta River, shifting from vibrant blue to a somber grey due to encroaching human structures. Translating to ‘Aunty’s Warm Garden,’ the song metaphorically depicts a bee captivated by a garden’s soothing scents, losing sight of its queen’s essence. Infused with a dynamic mix of rock and Nepali folk, featuring impactful bass, drums, guitars, and violin, along with collective vocals and emotive violin lines, the song leaves a lasting impression on the listener’s mind.
An English country rock song, it emerges as a masterful creation where every note resonates harmoniously, painting a vivid narrative. While Ambar Das, a versatile music composer, vocalist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, delivers exceptional performance, the track also unveils a brilliant songwriter in the form of Pritisha Borthakur. The lyrics, meticulously crafted, speak volumes of profound emotions—a refreshing gust of air in an era often dominated by relentless beats and noise. The track chronicles a personal journey from a serene village to a bustling city, evoking a universal yearning for the warmth of one’s hometown. The words resonate deeply, invoking memories and emotions that linger long after the final notes fade away. Supporting this soulful creation are the adept guitarist Dishankan Baruah and bassist Abhinav Borah, infusing their unparalleled talents and vitality into the composition. Moreover, the recording and production, under the meticulous oversight of renowned sound engineer Aslam Khan at The Purple Phaze Studio and The Headroom Studios, strike a flawless equilibrium between sound and emotion.
Mumbai-based composer, producer, guitarist, and vocalist Donn Bhat, along with his band Passenger Revelator, curates compelling auditory journeys blending electronic, pop, and rock genres. In his track ‘Swali Hu’, Bhat collaborates with Rajasthani folk vocalist Sakur Khan Sufi. Skillfully adapting Bullehshah’s poetry, they navigate the realms of folk fusion, Afro-rock, and electronica. The song, enriched by Sabir Khan’s sarangi and percussion elements from Suchet Malhotra, marks the duo’s second collaboration. Notably, earlier in the year, Bhat united with Punjabi artists Rashmeet Kaur and Prabh Deep for the exquisite fusion piece “Taqdeer” in Coke Studio Bharat
Affectionately by her fans as “Mali”, Maalavika Manoj’s song “Walk Away” occupies a cherished corner of her musical repertoire, born from a period of personal metamorphosis. It stems from the dual experiences of Mali’s closest friend navigating a difficult breakup and Mali’s departure from her band to embark on a solo journey. This poignant anthem explores resilience and the empowerment found in letting go. Originally shared through a live session on YouTube, “Walk Away” swiftly became a fan favorite, resonating deeply with listeners. Its soul-stirring melody and introspective lyrics led to numerous cover versions and captivating live performances. The track’s recent reimagining infuses neo-folk pop elements, enriching its emotional depth. Jehangir Jehangir’s deft drumming, Stuart DaCosta’s pulsating bass, and Jishnu Guha’s melodious guitars converge to craft a compelling musical backdrop. The backing vocals contributed by Mallika Barot and Aria Nanji add layers of depth and texture to Mali’s soulful voice, culminating in a composition that is both potent and unforgettable.
Take Me Home
When Chai Met Toast and Richard Wilkinson join forces to craft “Sushi Song”, a captivating composition that sweeps listeners into a vibrant world of love, adventure, and discovery. This melodious gem serves as the inaugural chapter of their forthcoming 4-song EP titled ‘LYTS,’ heralding a musical journey that promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. “Sushi Song” is a jubilant celebration of the sheer joy derived from exploring new horizons alongside a cherished companion. The song’s lyrics, penned by When Chai Met Toast, vividly illustrate the story of two lovers embarking on an exhilarating adventure together. From savoring sushi beneath the moon’s glow to ascending Mount Fuji at the break of dawn, the track encapsulates the enchantment and fervour of travel and self-discovery. The track’s pristine sound quality is a testament to Richard Wilkinson’s expertise in mixing and the meticulous attention to detail contributed by recording engineers Richard Wilkinson and Connor Panayi.
In their latest single, “Homebound,” Corner Café Chronicles introduces a breath of fresh air through an infusion of heavy guitar riffs, pulsating drumbeats, and soaring vocals. The track grapples with a fundamental question that haunts every artist: ‘Who are we in this vast collection of noise?’ It explores the psyche of an artist, navigating their place in the world, ultimately finding solace in self-appreciation. While the band now comprises of Chinmay Patkar, Soumitra Vichare, Rounak Chawla, and Yash Khona, the single pays tribute to the contributions of previous members Parth Malhotra and Swanand Thakur. (IANS)