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. These recommendations have been written and curated by Anubhab Roy.
Insane vibes, incredible voices
This month, we've put together a collection of tracks from a diverse group of artists—some established veterans, and some fresh new talent making their mark on the scene. From upbeat, catchy bops to more introspective and mellow tunes, we think you'll find something to love in this selection.
‘Kikli’ by Hari & Sukhmani: Hari & Sukhmani’s latest release ‘Kikli’ is essentially a radical retelling and refashioning of Punjabi folk (the song is based on ‘Bajre Da Sitta’) in a cloak that elevates it to stellar levels. What sustains the song is the manner in which the Folktronica duo let the song soar, even while its feet stay rooted by the folk vocals that are never too far gone. All of this results in an eclectic terrain that still remains gentle, as Hari & Sukhmani let themselves loose on the electronic accentuations to take the “bop factor” to uncharted territories with ‘Kikli’.
‘Some Kind of Nothing’ by Tejas: There is a very special category of songs that stand out with their heads held high in how paradoxical they are in terms of the relationship between tone and lyricism. Tejas’ latest single, ‘Some Kind of Nothing’, in the greatest light of compliment possible, is probably some kind of nothing if its paradox remains ungrasped. Tonally speaking, it is a blitz of electronica and percussion that keeps the listener on their feet, apparently keeping them unthinking. Once you sit down to have a listen however, when you really listen, the almost vengeful pessimism of the song catches you off your guard. As self-indulgent as it is self-aware—“I need you to notice, as I sell out” sings Tejas—‘Some Kind of Nothing’ demands intent listenership in its every crevice.
‘Aporpoise’ by Prakti: Singer-songwriter Prakti has just released a sweet little EP titled ‘Feel Butter’, which tugs at the heartstrings with its concise brevity. Besides the stellar sound of ‘Aporpoise’ and the other songs—behind which Amartya Ghosh as producer plays a key role—there is a lot to talk about the lyrical density of the song. Even on a level as self-evident as vocabulary, Prakti sets herself apart from the average songwriter, as literary lexicon lies in perfect harmony with lilting longing.
‘One Way Street’ by Radha: Radha is a name that you should start looking out for, as her debut single ‘One Way Street’, is as beautiful as they come. Debuts and instrumental minimalism often go hand in hand, and they consequently turn out to be the more telling for it. In ‘One Way Street’ for example, the organic strength of Radha’s voice is unencumbered by any redundancies, for what she sings of does not need any to begin with. The song of yearning and lament, an addition to the slew of melodies in that route, is accompanied mostly by the acoustic guitar, occasional strains of the electric guitar, and the piano.
‘Udd Chala’ by Taba Chake: Taba Chake has been in the business of saccharine easy listening for quite some time now, and his latest single—‘Udd Chala’—reinforces his credo further. Easy percussion and hints of electronic arrangements mingle in a relatively fast-paced serenade, as Chake builds on imagery that is not exactly unfamiliar, as the melodious charm of the song redeems it to completion.
Warm Up to A Humming Heart: Founded in 2017, A Humming Heart has been bringing readers the new and the next in Indian independent music through reviews, features, interviews, reportage, podcasts, videos, and our annual print magazine. Stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest in the indie scene through our regularly updated Spotify playlist, Currents. Looking for some serious indie cred? Check out our fourth issue of the only print magazine for independent music, available now at a special discounted rate for Splainer readers!