Banjaara – Soulsmiths

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Apparently, “Banjaara” is the first single for the Soulsmiths, a duo consisting of singer Shaili Shah and multi-talented Siddhant Mishra, who has written the lyrics, composed, sung, and produced this song. Instead of spreading himself thin and compromising himself in an all-in-one role, “Banjaara” appears to have brought out the best in Soulsmiths as this marvellous ballad showcases the talent behind the simplistic instrumentation of keyboards and controlled guitaring, all courtesy Siddhant. The vocal harmonies are welcome, the melody is as sublimely gorgeous, and is central to the arrangement. “Banjaara” shows an acute understanding of R&B grooves and an innate soulfulness, even at its poppiest moments.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/soulsmiths

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

 

Chaka – Shawjeeb

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The Toronto-to-Dhaka artiste who simply goes by the name of Shawjeeb has, in reality, Tanveer Alam as a prefix, just like “Chaka” is prefixed by guitar and bass prior to the entry of his vocals. The music is appealingly positive where you actually come away feeling uplifted. In fact, on “Chaka”, it is the sound of Shawjeeb’s distinctive voice coupled with the unusual tuning of his guitar, rather than the specific lyrical content provided by Indraneel Chattopaddhyaya, that pulls the listener in. “Chaka” convincingly establishes Shawjeeb as a talented singer and interpreter, making songs his own with his gritty soul-folk voice and urgent guitar strums, which also conveys the strength of his repertoire.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/shawjeeb

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

Ghumar – Falu

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Commencing only with the vocals of singer Falu prior to the instrumentation joining this mid-tempo ethnic track is a real treat, as not only the singer, but the musicians – violinist, harmonium, and percussion – are obviously enjoying the simplicity of the song as the violin rips things up musically. The versatility of the artiste also known as Falguni Shah – who shuffles from traditional classical music to what appears to be world pop music – is her musical upbringing where she has honed Benares thumris, Jaipur music tradition through her study with Kishori Amonkar, and the sounds of the Indore gharana of Ustad Sultan Khan right to taking a tangent towards world music by now living in North America. Falu is undoubtedly a talented vocalist, and one can only visualise that her live performances would provide as much joy to the audience as she has with her singing.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/falu

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

Dhol Vagyo – Jasbir Jassi

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Singer Jasbir Jassi has come a long way from playing the harmonium as a youngster, writing poetry, and being a classically trained musician, but none of that really matters as he takes a sharp tangent into dandiya territory with the Gujarat state-of-mind inspiring “Dhol Vagyo”. Dandiya, of course, is the traditional folk dance form of Gujarat, originated in Vrindavan by Lord Krishna and, along with Garba, both are the featured dances of Navratri evenings in Western India. Jasbir supports the traditional sounds effectively on “Dhol Vagyo”, further supported by the vocals of Richa Sharma and Beera, which receive contemporary arrangements through the usage of keyboards, completing Jasbir’s cross-cultural metamorphosis from Punjab da munda to Gujarat no bhai!

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/JasbirJassi

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

Bulandi – Kalkii

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Chandigarh-based Kalkii, although portraying their music as sufi folk, actually owe their greatest debt to classic rock. With its intricately arranged guitar textures and expansive harmonic vocabulary, “Bulandi” recalls those touchstones that might not have been immediately apparent, since – aside from Sameer Dhiman’s leads — most traces of obvious influences have been virtually stripped from the band’s sound. Though they rock hard, Kalkii tackles weighty topics – fearlessness, self-sufficiency, determination, passion – with an earnest zeal. Similarly, composer-vocalist-rhythmic guitarist Suneet Rawat’s lyrics often make their greatest impact through the passionate commitment of his delivery rather than only in meaning. His voice has a highly distinctive timbre that perfectly fits the song’s warm, rich sound, and that is part of the band’s appeal. Kalkii is in tightly focused form here, resulting in “Bulandi” having the potential of becoming a flawlessly crafted melodic masterpiece.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/kalkii

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

Dur Dipobashini – Shawjeeb & Choir Bangla

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ArtistAloud has a mammoth roster of artistes, rich with outstanding singing ensembles, but Choir Bangla – led in this instance by Shawjeeb, who is apparently a Toronto-returned Bangladeshi – is unique, performing traditional Bengali music without instrumental accompaniment. The style is, of course, known universally as acapella. Hearing the “song” for the first time was undeniably trying, but once heard on a number of occasions, it is certainly hair-raising, a rendition of what appears to be a traditional hymn whose simple and unadorned melody floats effortlessly. Certainly “Dur Dipobashini” highlights the warm harmonies and rounded tones of the choir’s singing style. It would certainly be interesting to listen to the entire album featuring this effort, “Notun Korey Pawa”, as “Dur Dipobashini” appears to be only a precursor.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/shawjeebandchoirbangla

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

Ohda Naaa: Sumesh Kapila

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From being a wedding singer, Sumesh Kapila has come a long way, not least because his inspiration arrives from singer Gurdas Mann. “Ohda Naaa” – with music provided by Jawar Dildar – sees the softer side of Punjabi pop vis-à-vis the beat laden bhangra. The heavy sounds give way to a ballad here, with the keyboard based composition being rich in melody. The lighter sound provides a complete relief from the sounds of dhol that one usually associates with the pop of Punjab, but the rhythmic arrangements, combined with the fabulous voice of Sumesh, results in a joyous track bordering on Punjabi folk. With such a wealth of music available, Punjab continues to be a revelation for forthcoming sounds with “Ohda Naaa” being a prime example. Certainly a worthy listen.

 

Listen and Download the songs here :http://www.artistaloud.com/sumeshkapila

- Review by PARAG KAMANI

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