We’ve got the latest edition of the Indian indie music compilation Stupiditties playing in the OneSmallWindow workplace today. It started like this. I was barely awake this morning when E decided to have a blind listening party. I wasn’t allowed to look at the playlist, I had to listen to the music and react without knowing anything about the song or the artist. It was kind of like what it used to be to discover music on the radio way back when. Just the song and you, no buzz, no hype.
Check these out (our favourites off the album) and then go get yourself a copy of the compilation to listen to the entire spectrum of sounds that represent the Indian indie scene at this point in time.
Rain – Siddharth Basrur
I heard this song for the first time live, last week when Basrur opened for British singer/songwriter Fink so I guessed what it was very quickly when E played this for me. On the album version Basrur and producer Ayan De pull out the big guns with an arrangement large enough to sit around his voice. The good thing is that we already know the song holds up with just a guitar and vocals as heard at the live performance last week so more props to them for that!
Fall Someplace – Your Chin
Your Chin, the side project of Sky Rabbit frontman Raxit Tiwari, is represented by the heartstoppingly good Fall Someplace. I’ve said before that Tiwari has one of the best voices in Indian indie. After listening to this song, everything I want to say sounds embarrassingly teenage so I’ll just tell you that you absolutely must listen to it. This is how I expected the Sky Rabbit album (released earlier this year) to sound – massive, intimate, melodic and soaring all at once. Very very well done.
Seasons – Null Friction
Hands down my favourite lyrics on this entire compilation come from the Null Friction song Seasons – “I stare at the ceiling/ And find comfort in the metaphors and facts”. Indie songs by other acts in the past have explored this sentiment in much lesser, way more maudlin or navel gazing ways but this line finds a balance between poetry and clarity that must be acknowledged. Vocalist Shreyans Jha knocks it out of the park (not being wannabe, I just don’t have a better, less baseball-y metaphor). I haven’t heard any of their other music but with this song Jha has found a place alongside Raxit Tiwari to become one of my favourite vocalists from the indie scene.
The 27 songs in the compilation indicate that no matter what silly questions The Guardian might ask, guitar music is alive and well, in Indian indie for sure and rock is the big umbrella under which it all falls. On this compilation you have alt rock, hard rock, surf rock, punk rock, Hindi rock, classic rock, space rock (that’s what I’m calling The Supersonics) and what seems to be the favourite – electro rock.
Also must note – indie song production in the past has tended to be skeletal and shaky but things come together very tightly on most of the compilation so here’s a nod to all the producers who worked on these songs.
The energy is high, the boys sound good and we look forward to checking out all these acts live! Is this review too enthusiastic or too earnest for you? Well, tough. This is some good shit and this is how I feel about it.
Download it here now, for free.
Photos: Siddharth Basrur and Raxit Tewari by Elvis D’Silva, Shreyans Jha by Taylor Poulin (courtesy Null Friction)