Aadab! Ramazan shuru ho chuki hai aur iftar ki laalach mein hum doston ke haal chaal puch rahe hai besharamo ki tarah. Kya karein! Kebab aur Haleem ke sapne aate hai purey saal humein. Waise aapko pehla newsletter kaisa laga? Changaa? Indie Artists ko humare posts share karte dekh humari ankhein bhar aayi, humare designer ka toh khushi se 2 kilo aur wazan badh gaya hai.
In other news, finally IPL khatam ho gaya (phew).
Abhi toh Kohli se bhari hui timeline ka khauf taaza hai wahaan GoT spoilers ka aatank bhi shuru ho gaya.
Hodor ki dardnaak kahaani dekh kar laga ki kahin shayad humare jaise indie music loyalists ki haalat bhi Hodor se kam nahin.
Bollywood ke White Walkers ke saamne hum indie scene ka door hold kar rahe hain, doston!
Dramebaazi kaafi ho gayi na aaj?
Toh aao fangirling karein!
Market mein naya maal aaya hai bhailog. Hyperventilate nahin karne ki koshish karte hue prastut karte hain ek chakachak band jisne humein hila ke rakh diya hai - LawnTuba. ‘On Silver Clouds’ naamak inki first EP shaayad utna hi happy music boast karti hai jitne ki hum khush hue the iss discovery pe.
Lawntuba started as an acoustic duo between gigging buddies Siddhant Vernekar and Krishna Purohit (Bunty) back in 2013. Their acoustic influences are starkly evident in the first track that is ‘Running Away’. Next track ‘Fields Are Breathing’ is stuff dreams are made of. Humaara personal favourite ‘Niah Tells Me’ is a beautifully sung mellow dance number about unrequited love. The last track ‘Sunlight Surprise’ is a ballad to listen to while watching birds from your window on a rainy afternoon.
While almost the entire soundtrack is about broken hearts and things that keep ‘falling apart’, it almost has a sort of healing ability, we have to admit. Extremely wary of ‘clean vocals’ and ‘clean guitars’, LawnTuba have infused ambient sounds into their tracks along with layers of vocals that attribute to the soundtrack being dreamy that it is. You’ll find sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling and even preachings from an uncle they met at a temple (in ‘Running Away’). Uncleji ne sahi pakda hai, aakhir ‘Vigyan kahaan gaya?’.
What’s with the name then? Bunty liked the word ‘lawns’. Siddhant wanted something before or after ‘lawns’. "Lawn mein music baje toh kaisa baje? Kaun sa instrument imagine kar sakte hain udhar? Tuba?". And ladies and gentlemen, that’s how LawnTuba came to be. Other than the ingenuity behind the name, Siddhant is also the man behind the pretty artwork for the band. Agar album pasand aaye toh buy karo (they've been kind enough to put a pay-what-you-want option in there).
Inko check out karo. Freshest maal leke aaye hain (the EP came out on 26th May). Bragging rights share karne ka promise poora kiya hai. Ab raita failaane ki zimmedari (aur pleasure) aapke hawaale.
Achaa waise aap album/video art ya kisi bhi kism ke art ko follow karte hai ki nai? Indie music has wonderful delights to offer in terms of visual art. Agla section kuch aise hi behtareen visual art ke saath pesh hai.
Naya EP !
If life gives you Mathematics, make Music. Kaash ye humein pata hota jab uss kalmuhe calculus ke daldal mein fass kar puri kayanat ko gaali de rahe the. Stuck in November seems to be India’s first ever Math-rock leaning band (and we’d be happy to be proven wrong this one time!) A beautiful mess, is what maybe you can call this Extended Play. The first single ‘Full Power’ is a great song to tap your feet along to - Not. Frustrate ho jaoge in the pursuit of trying to keep rhythm. Enter beautiful guitar solos and riffs to save you the embarrassment. Par Dammit the beat! Math-rock stands out from other genres specifically because of its love for breaking the rhythm you get hooked on to. Ek, Do, Teen, Chaar.. Ek, do, Teen, Chaar...Yeh hoti hai regular beats. But Math rock be like, "Meh! Let’s do ek, do, teen, chaar, paanch, che, saat,.. ek, do, teen, chaar, paanch, che, saat, aanth.."
The complete EP is a patakhe ki ladi, and we had to share this with you guys because we’ve never heard Indian Music like this before. If ‘Birthdays’ takes you to the oblivion, the next song ‘Strongs’ will take you to the streets of your town in all its eclectic glory; hum chahein bhi toh iss album ke flow ko articulate nahin kar sakte. We wonder how they came with the names of each song though!
Stuck In November ka past post-rock rahaa hai, and it will be clearly visible in this EP. The band came together in Bangalore in 2010 and released a post-rock leaning EP called The Sky Is Watching in 2012, but went on a hiatus after guitarist Nihal Anand left the country for studies, only to return in 2014. They got back together again, sans a few members, leaving a trio working hard to sound like a complete six piece band. We haven’t yet had the chance to see them live, but we’ve been hearing all good things about them performing this EP. Lyrics ke abhaav se put off na hoiye! We found every song to be using every cognitive space in our mind, making us rack our brains to keep up with how cooool it is :D
Favorite track is Polyrhythmic Synth Jazz - ‘because nobody can dance to that!’
Get the album here: http://stuckinnovember.bandcamp.com/
Stuck In November Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/stuckinnovember
Stuck in November Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stuckinnovember/
Album art pasand aaya na? Humein bhi! And guess who made it? The Drummer, Mayur Nanda. Such Talentzzzzz. Much Wow.
Scene Kya Hai?
Ek time hua karta tha jab indie scene mein gine-chune festivals or venues mein hardcore maahol hua karta tha. Very non-fancy underground venues, affordable tickets, black tees and music taking the centrestage (case in point). As we have moved towards more glamorous and high-end festivals - quite understandably for purposes of sustenance - it has somehow been a general opinion from purists and early fans alike that the focus has started shifting away from the music.
Pesh hai Sofar Sounds. Intimate aur cozy gigs ki nayi duniya ka first taste dete hue, Sofar Sounds Indian public ke liye ek welcome change lekar aaya hai. For the uninitiated, here’s what Sofar shows are all about
- These are intimate gigs hosted by people in their living rooms, gardens, terraces, art cafes or just any spacious non-commercial space.
- Artist takes the centerstage. It’s recommended and required for the audiences to stay attentive, not indulge in conversations, refrain from taking photos/video and let it be all about the music.
- They are secret gigs where you register and if your spot is confirmed, you receive the address a day before the show. (Such excite!)
For people willing to host quality house gigs or for scenesters looking for a new, more fulfilling live music experience, apne sheher mein Sofar Sounds checkout karna banta hai! Billu bhaiya gaye the, bataa rahe the 'pehle toh darr laga, saala koi baat hi nahin kar raha hai. Par show khatam hone tak alag hi duniya mein pohoch gaya. Sasura bahut hi magical tha experience.'
Sofar is hosting shows regularly in Bangalore, Bombay and Ahmedabad. Sign up for Sofar Sounds here and pick your city. Coming up in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata soon!
Sofar stands for Songs From A Room.
We have a confession to make. Iss baar ka dope chunnte waqt humare dil ke jazbaat aur bias ko hum rok nahin paaye. Suryakant Sawhney ki awaz humein humari amma ki lori se zyaada pyaari lagti hai. If one could marry music, we would marry PCRC. #sacchapyar Humare Indie Music ke initiation ka credit jaata hai iss phenomenal band ko.
Iss baar ki popcorn-paka-dene-wali-garmi se durr jab hum iss hafte pahado mein bhaag gaye the, tab star-gazing karte huye humari rooh iss gaane ke saath kuch iss tarah sway ho rahi thi jaise ki raat ki thandi hava mein bade ghane ped. Dilli ke hipster scene mein chupke se Gypsy Jazz bajaata hua band - Peter Cat Recording Co., demands as much of your attention as that cat outside your doorstep staring deep within your soul. As one of our friends pointed out, this song is like that extra dollop of nutella on your nutella loaded sandwich - but what is even more mindblowing is their surreal video. Uske kam se kam, 99 interpretations kar sakte hai aap. A delight for both, the eyes and ears - this edition’s guilty pleasure lies right below.
PS:- Recommended listening for when lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling/stars as your thoughts take you to another world, but also for a little jazz-swaying by yourself in your room, with the lights off and speakers up !
Hum toh indie music junkies hai hi, par jante hai ki hum sab ke baap kon hai? Billu Bhaiya. Puri duniya ka wisdom aur gussa ek pan ke galle mein liye baithe hai.
Badass females and dance music
Billu Bhaiya asli krantikari hai agar humse puche toh. FYI humare desh ki ladkiyan sirf faad music sunn hi nahin rahi, scene mein kaafi macha bhi rahi hain. Pesh hai aapke liye ek freshly marinated and cooked playlist presented on a sizzled plate. Here we feature some of the most energetic women talking about fighting deadly ailments and taking jabs at the political system, all made into dance music. Mixtape ka naam hai Fire in the Street (Title credits - Madboy/Mink). Aakhir yeh todu mahilayein stereotypes break karte hue indie music ki galli mein aag hi toh laga rahi hain!
Madboy Mink - Fire in the Street
For whom the name Saba Azad doesn’t ring a bell, we’ll let you scratch your heads thinking where you have seen her before. Along with Imaad Shah (Madboy), Madboy/Mink is a live act with energies from another world. They play electro-cabaret, funk, disco. Those of you thinking ‘that’s not my thing’ - it is your thing, it’s everyone’s thing. You just haven’t realized it yet. Break into a stupid dance with this head-shaking disco number from their new EP Union Farm.
Kanchan Daniel And The Beards - The Road
In the age of experimental music pushing new boundaries regularly, here’s a band that’s making a mark by playing strictly blues (well at least for now). Kanchan Daniel reminds you of the first time you heard Janis Joplin or our own Tipriti (Soulmate) and went like "waddaaafucckk I did not see that voice coming!". Staying true to blues songwriting, she writes about simple things like comics, fake boobs and secret agents. ‘The Road’ is about her successful fight against cancer. Wait till the vocals kick in.
Mosko - Drance 109
Mosko is far away from Kavya Trehan’s more well-known singer-songwriter stint. The hints of eccentricity in her previous work have come of age to grow into a monster that’s the frontwoman of Mosko. The name 'Drance 109' obviously hints to trance + dance music par apne expectations ko hold karein because this is nothing like your regular dance music. Quite definitely the Jhansi Ki Rani of the Indie Kranti.
Ganesh Talkies - Dancing! Dancing!
Jinke influences Radiohead aur Bappi Lahiri ek saath ho, unka music guess karne ki taakat hum nahin rakhte. Kolkata’s very own Bollywood-inspired disco/pop/funk act is a killer treat to watch live with their quirky outfits, supertrippy visuals and the dramatic singer in Suyasha Sengupta. 'Dancing! Dancing!' is an instant hit.
Tritha - Macher Bajaar
We’ve been talking about eccentric and dramatic women up until now. Par ab tak humne Tritha Sinha ko nahin suna tha. Her work ranges from the goofy Baci Baci to the aptly titled PagLi featuring herself in a super-eerie avatar with recurring visuals of a cat licking a bloody fish head. ‘Maacher Bajaar’, our pick of the lot is a dig at consumerism and at the fish market we have become as a country. Kya baat.
As Gabriel announced her arrival, and Moses emanated electricity, the Elven beauty descended upon the scene and enthralled one and many witnessing this divine dance of trance (refer here). Kavya Trehan had smitten us, truly. Delhi ki dharti se, jab dil se Kavya ne lagaya woh pehla sur, hum ho gaye dher in the andher. If Kashmir had a human equivalent, she might be it. Equal amounts of beauty, crazy and kickass she carries powers that can instantly make her listeners lose the ability to speak or maintain composure. Her stage performances are Targaryen in nature, fire and blood, the dance of dragons if you ask us.
Starts blabbering. Stops making sense. Exits.
Allow me to introduce Lady Asha of House Puthli. Mother of Fusions, Breaker of Norms, Khaleesi of the indie scene and overall one of the most iconic musicians to come out of India.
Late 1960s. At a time when the Beatles were wrapping up their act, the Velvet Underground were initiating their act, Andy Warhol was promoting all kinds of experimental music, hippies were floating all around in their floral prints and long hair, there was this one Indian lady who dared to travel across the seas and make music that inspired her. She found her inspiration in jazz and pop music that was broadcasted solely on two radio stations in India at the time, namely Voice of America and Radio Ceylon. Remember kids, this was before the internet or globalization. So, finding good jazz or American pop was as difficult as finding a liquor store in Gujarat. Yet she found a way, and aren’t we thankful that she did!
She immigrated to New York in the 1960s to pursue a dance scholarship offered by Martha Graham, only to be later discovered by Columbia Records. Via the record label, she found the medium to gain much deserved acknowledgment and find the opportunity to work with many renowned musicians (even jazz legend Ornette Coleman). In a nutshell, she sang, gained accolades, struggled for a bit and persevered. Despite of the lack of recording opportunities in her initial years, she kept making music and finding her way through.
Her music is the stuff dreams are made of. Like seriously, each song of hers feels like the background score to your surrealist sapna from last night. And fusion is her middle name. Throughout the 60s and 70s, she kept experimenting and fusing various forms of pop, psychedelic rock, soul, funk, Indian classical and disco. And knowing the experimentalist that Asha is, music was never going to be her limit. She also experimented in films, dance and a bit of fashion. She was instrumental in perpetuating an Indian identity outside India. Unke libaaz, unki awaaz, everything blatantly spoke of Hindustani roots and upbringing. It’s no wonder that she found her place in the Grammy Museum besides Pandit Ravi Shankar. And humaare dil ko kaafi thes pohonchti hain yeh jaankar ki most of us are still unaware of this phenomenal singer and her enchanting music. To overlook her music would be blasphemy. So go on and listen, and thank us later.
An endearing minimalist compilation of Peter Cat Recording Co.'s new album Climax. Each image represents a song on the album. Look closely, and you'll find something beautiful when all the posters are put together.
Credits - Hiren Kangad
Iss edition mein bas itna hi. We are thankful to all the kind folk who are reading the newsletter and spreading the word. The wonderful feedback was something we never anticipated. Yeh kranti mein jitni mushkilein hain, utna hi fulfillment bhi hai. Humaare saath bane rahiye. Fangirling jaari rahegi. <3
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