New Music: Post-Rock from Thrissur, Synth-Pop from Mumbai, Heavy Metal from Kolkata and More

Hear the latest from Bengaluru-based pop artist Ricky, producer-drummer Tarun Balani’s project Seasonal Affected Beats and pop artist Tanzeel Khan’s cross-border collaboration with rapper Hashim Nawaz

(Clockwise from top left) Tanzeel Khan, The Pariah Kite, Mr. Ives, Meera Desai, Tarun Balani. Photos: Sumit (Meera), Gorkey Patwal (Seasonal Affected Beats), Courtesy of the artists (The Pariah Kite, Mr Ives, Tanzeel Khan)

“Back In Bombay” by Akash, Trapperx

New York-based singer-songwriter Akash Ahuja calls on Jaipur-bred producer Trapperx aka Sushil Ghunawat to chart a new hip-hop-informed banger called “Back In Bombay.” Centered around a story of a long-distance infatuation, the music video for the smooth pop song focuses on a homecoming of sorts for Ahuja, as he and Trapperx fly into Mumbai, meet fans, take on interviews and even have a run-in with the paparazzi. All in a day’s work for Ahuja, we imagine.

Zard EP by The Pariah Kite

Bengaluru-based indie/prog duo The Pariah Kite’s Prachi Gole and Danish Abdi deliver an airy, grandiose and breathtaking kind of songwriting and production on their debut EP Zard. Aided by producer Varun Murali (from folk-fusion band Swarathma), The Pariah Kite embark on a journey similar to their live shows, traversing through “five stages of heartbreak” in five songs. “Rang” with its lush production and emphatic vocals focuses on denial, while Gole’s vocals turn incendiary on the swing-informed “Kaafi Hai.” On “Tukda,” they leave the narrative a bit ominous, and dive deeper into the human psyche on “Maazi.” The fifth and final track off Zard is expected shortly, completing an immersive audio-visual journey that The Pariah Kite have undertaken.

Dirty Ricky by Ricky.

Bengaluru-based artist Ricky aka Anusha Sreekumar showcases a flair for powerful, emotive and soul-informed pop on her evocative debut full-length album Dirty Ricky. Helped by a visual aesthetic that’s raw and unfettered – much like her music – Ricky navigates loss and recovery in matters of the heart across 11 tracks, produced by WalterBrown aka Sanjith Nair. The hushed “Madonna Lily” is spectral, while “Best Friend” and “365” are wavy in their lo-fi treatment, and darker dance-floor cuts show up with “Gem” and “Dirty Shoes” featuring singer Atul. At the center of the record is “Ballad of Ricky,” which is a nimble yet unsettling kind of song. Sad-pop bops like “Loving You Was A Decent Thing (Sniff)” and “Sirens” keep the versatility and narrative arc of Dirty Ricky strong.

“Nusrat” by Naalayak

Hindi rock act Naalayak’s Sahil Samuel turns around a new song off the upcoming record Round About with “Nusrat.” A plaintive rock ballad that swells to familiar yet refreshing arena-rock peaks, “Nusrat” was written in April this year by Samuel and brings in Subir Malik (from rock veterans Parikrama) to play keys, guitarist Mingma Lama, bassist Ashish Dey and drummer Aditya, with Jasmine Kaur providing additional vocals. The music videos sees Samuel take on a more intense on-screen role as he and a female protagonist see through the end of their time together.

“Pasbaan” by Tanzeel Khan ft. Hashim Nawaz

Pop artist Tanzeel Khan teams up with Pakistani rapper Hashim Nawaz for an introspective, emo hip-hop song called “Pasbaan,” which was originally intended for his debut full-length album Dastaan from earlier this year. As it turns out, Nawaz’s resolute rap verses add a lot of weight to the heartbreak song produced by beatsmith XStacy. Meanwhile, Nawaz appears like a hologram talking to Khan in the music video directed by Vaibhav Patil.

“Let’s” by Meera

Ahmedabad-based singer-songwriter Meera Desai’s first release of the year is a slow yet emphatic song that speaks about the truths about relationships. The artist – teaming up with her usual gang of producer-bassist Raag Sethi and violinist-producer Protyay Chakraborty – creates an intimate tale of how much the little things matter to her, from grocery runs to the importance of a nightlight.

“Aaoge” by Prakhar Gupta

Prayagraj-based artist Prakhar Gupta aka Leo sings about lust and love in a suitably brooding manner on his new Hindi song “Aaoge.” Rapping and singing over a beat produced by BAD Junkie aka Davinder Singh, there’s pain and a plea for openness when it comes to talking about instincts. For the music video, Gupta is joined by actor and dancer Jagriti Goswami, with introspective choreography.

“Retro Lifestyle” by Mr. Ives

Mumbai-based pop artist Zahid Nayani took on the persona of Mr. Ives to break away from his 9-to-5 job and his latest single “Retro Lifestyle” is understandably a lot about escape and embarking on a chase. Informed by the likes of Michael Jackson, Mr. Ives flexes his best dance moves for the music video, while the song is composed by B4llin Stawns.

“The Night Queen” by Falcun 

Kolkata heavy metallers Falcun raise their horns in the hope of bringing back a lost glory on their latest song “The Night Queen” – addressing the legacy of metal in India in a sense. Anthemic and roaring with high-pitched vocals and thunderous riffs and drum work, Falcun certainly make a solid point that heavy metal is far from done, whether you apply it to Kolkata, India or even the rest of the world.

“Hope” by Mushroom Lake

Thrissur-bred post-rock and psychedelic rock band Mushroom Lake have been on and off since the release of their record Live at Regional Theatre in 2014, but with the release of their latest single “Hope,” there’s the indication that they’re far from inconsistent. Recorded at Mondosonic Studio by producer Varun Krrishna, Mushroom Lake tap into their trippy, journeying sound like they never left, conjuring an escapist delight that ebbs and flows on “Hope.”

“Risalo” by Seasonal Affected Beats

Carrying forward the powerful, often synth-driven storytelling heard on his 2020 EP , producer and drummer Tarun Balani’s project Seasonal Affected Beats has a new offering with “Risalo.” Teaming up with filmmaker and photographer Parizad D, the slow unfolding visuals of a flower on a bed of nails is matched with synth progressions, layers and beats to make for an introspective and eventually euphoric kind of palette.

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