Editor’s Note: Once a month, we feature a fantastic playlist of the best new indie music curated by our partners A Humming Heart (AHH). Independently run and reader-supported, AHH also supports upcoming indie musicians through their Artist Fund.
AHH’s indie picks of the month
We at A Humming Heart are delighted to bring you the May 2023 edition of the best new independent music.
This month, we are pleased to share with you the release of two full-length albums. Pleased, because we don't get too many of those anymore and because they’re both incredibly engrossing and reflective listens.
- Since its inception in 1990, Indian Ocean has served as a beacon of folk-rock in India. Very few Indian bands have managed to establish a strong sonic identity with an immediately recognisable sound and Indian Ocean tops that short list. Though members have come and gone, the band’s creative vision has remained constant, steadfastly rooted in its unique blend of Indian classical and contemporary rock, breathing life into their illustrious three-decade odyssey. Their latest release is titled ‘Tu Hai’. Their first since their last album almost ten years ago. Check out the in-depth review by Manisha Maity on our website.
- In the hip-hop album MEEN, Gorakhpur-born Yungsta slowly threads together the story of a person who struggles with his own self, finds confidence within, and achieves what he strives for while learning to float and swim through the ups and downs of his life. Check it out here.
Here are the singles that stood out this past month.
‘Nasamjhi’ by Utsavi Jha: You may already be familiar with Utsavi Jha for her acting role in the Disney+ Hotstar film ‘Gulmohar’. However, you might not know that she is also a talented singer-songwriter who lent her voice to the song she performed on screen on the film's soundtrack. She has come out with a new track 'Nasamjhi' as she continues with putting out more work independently.
‘Sakhi Re’ by Bawari Basanti: True to her signature style, ‘Sakhi Re’ is a beautiful presentation of traditional folk in a more contemporary sound from singer-songwriter Mahima Dayal aka Bawari Basanti. Her compelling storytelling ability, coupled with a distinctive style of delivery, once again shines through on her latest track. You can listen to the song on her Spotify here.
'Azhage (Fallin)' by Brodha V: 'Azhage (Fallin)' is described by Bengaluru-rapper Brodha V as a "musical love letter," addressing the beauty, anticipation, and longing associated with love, all delivered through his unique flow and a fair bit of singing too! The song has been written and produced by the rapper himself. Check out the song and its accompanying music video!
‘Swali Hu’ by Donn Bhat feat Sakur Khan Sufi: Did you know that Bullehshah—one of the greatest Sufi poets in history—once said “I am wanting, but I am not empty. What you will give to me, I will receive.” Now…indie musician Don Bhatt and sufi singer Sakur Khan Sufi have turned that thought into a song. Titled ‘Swali Hu’—the collaborators who teamed up for the Coke Studio release ‘Taqdeer’, find themselves in the desert tents of Jaisalmer, creating an irresistible piece of music that brings the weight of Sufi mysticism to life with a groovy arrangement.
‘Gulmohar’ by Judy on the run: From Bengaluru comes the intriguing new duo Judy on the run, a musical project by brothers Javaad Ahmed (Judy) and Shakeel Ahmed (Shaq). Raised in an orthodox middle-class household where music was a taboo, their mother secretly introduced them to Western Pop. They've been releasing singles since the previous year, and the duo’s latest track 'Gulmohar' underscores their potential, putting them on our radar as artists to watch out for.
Keeping up with indie
Over the past few months, we've been curating some of the best new tracks and updates from the Indian indie music scene for you. We'd be thrilled to know if there's a track or artist you've grown to love. Or perhaps there's an Indian indie artist you like, and would like to learn more about? Until our next update, stay up to date with the indie scene through our regularly updated Spotify playlist, Currents where you can hear all these tracks, and more.