Milliblog Weeklies, Week 112 – May.31, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 112: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
From March 22nd, when I shared the last Weeklies, to this weekend… this is perhaps the longest break I have taken in writing for Milliblog since I started in 2005! It’s not just that new music literally stopped flowing from the many studios and labels across India, the mood was also grim enough to warrant not writing about music. This week’s update covers the whole period in between and you’d notice some old (relatively) songs too.I do not think the situation has changed or will change dramatically from June 1st week onwards, so I intend to wait and watch. I’m considering turning Weeklies into a fortnightly or a monthly in case the flow of new music is too slow. But it’d continue to be called Weeklies 🙂

17 songs this week. All 17 available on YouTube, while JioSaavn (that I notice has a significant UI update in the web version) is missing the 2 songs from Ponmagal VandhaaL (that has already made it to Gaana, but not JioSaavn, strangely).

Mummy – Vayu (Indipop/Hindi): After March’s Baatein Karo, composer Vayu delivers another knockout with the poignant Mummy! The lyrics and the tone of the song are so beautifully conjured, while the music is enchanting, with wailing strings in the background accentuating the sense of dread and overall mood.

Kya Karoon? – Zaeden (Indipop/Hindi): Zaeden’s falsetto-laden singing and the overall sound he concocts sounds enchantingly sweet. It’s very easy-on-the-ear and something you would love listening to again as it gets over.

Jootam Phenk & Madari Ka Bandar – Gulabo Sitabo (Abhishek Arora, Anuj Garg) – Hindi: Jootam Phenk evokes the question about who Abhishek Arora is – it’s that interesting, even within the familiar swing sounds it adopts. You can’t go wrong with Piyush Mishra as a singer either. Anuj’s Madari Ka Bandar has an unhurried lilt that speeds up to an exciting point mid-way. Tochi Raina and Anuj seems to be thoroughly enjoying singing it.

Genda Phool – Badshah & Payal Dev (Indipop/Hindi/Bangla): Badshah uses his Primary School lyric writing skills and layers them on top of a Bangla folk tune that he credited after adequate outrage. (More on that!) It’s a fantastic recreation, however – almost like a power-version of an otherwise, simple and soulful folk song. Payal Dev is the song’s X factor, handling the Bangla hook.

Move – Raftaar – Album: Mr.Nair (Indipop/Hindi): Within the largely hip hop template, Raftaar has a very catchy tune here! And that grand brass sound accentuates the tune wonderfully, amping up the catchiness.

Earth Malayalam – Ananthu Mahesh and Sreejith SJ (Indipop/Malayalam): The oddly titled song remains interesting mainly due to Ananthu’s soaring tune and singing. The template reminded me a bit of Rex Vijayan’s Uyirin Nadhiye from Mayaanadhi, before Ananthu turns the tune in a different direction.

Pookkalin Porvai & Kalaigiradhey Kanave – Ponmagal VandhaaL (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: I had already written about Vaan Thooralgal, the 96-extension song.

I’d have easily guessed Pookkalin Porvai as a Sean Roldan song, and surprisingly he sings it too, along with Keethana Vaidyanathan. There are subtle shades of Sean’s music from Joker at certain stretches. What’s particularly interesting that they chose the name the song after the phrase that starts the anupallavi! The song’s structure itself is a complex mesh of tunes that do not sound like any conventional flow, and certain choices Govind makes, like when the add the 2nd voice, either Sean’s voice, over Keerthana, or the other way around, add significant charm to the song. Kalaigiradhey Kanave is closest to Govind’s Thaikkudam Bridge output. A sprawling sound that has an almost contrastingly softer voice (of Govind himself). That works very well for the short song that somehow seems to end abruptly.

Yedho Yedho Aasai – Naan Thaan Siva (D.Imman) – Tamil: Imman hints at Charukesi raaga quite generously and roping in Shreya for the melody is a stupendous choice. Together, they produce absolute magic!

Thaththi Thaavum – Javed Riaz (Indipop/Tamil) – In what seems like an extended advertisement for Swiggy, Javed easily has a winner! The tune’s spritely sound, combined with Aarthi MN Ashwin’s superb singing is wonderfully easy on the ear. It’s also interesting that Aarthi sounded a bit like Chinmayi!

Marandhaye – Teddy (D.Imman) – Tamil: I wasn’t that into the much-publicized En Iniya Thanimaye, but Nanbiye was a great listen. And Marandhaye goes one step beyond Nanbiye. Imman springs a delightful surprise by extending the Yaaradi lines to an impressive high with just one word per line with some lovely strings for company. Pradeep Kumar is, as always, terrific, with excellent support by Jonita in the anupallavi.

Chitu Kuruvi – Aruva Sanda (Dharan) – Tamil: A surprising song from Dharan, who is more associated with relatively ‘modern’ sounds. This one is charmingly simple, almost a throwback to a different period of Tamil music… kinda like a slightly polished Deva song from the 90s! Special mention on the vocals by Ramya Nambeesan and Balaji Sree.

Seetha Momuni – MAD (Mohith Rahmaniac) – Telugu: WHOA! The composer’s name is Mohith “Rahmaniac”? A fan of Rahman, I presume? 🙂 Ironically, the melody, which is rather nice, reminded me of Ilayaraja’s Kalaignan number Enthan Nenjil Neengaatha, possibly owing to the raaga Nalinakanti. The background music is decidedly more Rahmanish, of course.

Kotha Kotha Oohalenno – Pradeep Sagar (Indipop/Telugu): The song definitely made me wonder, ‘Who is this Pradeep Sagar?’. Hemachandra handles Pradeep’s charming tune that comes alive with a lively rhythm layered on top of Sandilya Pisapati’s violin. Very good listen!

En Chaare – Nyx Lopez (Indipop/Malayalam): Nyx, who had shown some promise in the soundtrack for the Tamil film Sei (2017), gets the cool boyband sound very well here. In Mohith Shyam’s vocals, the tune gets even better. Very promising, overall, for Nyx.

Ithal – Koora (Nithin Peetambaran) – Malayalam: Nithin’s melody is haunting and has a gorgeous sweep, and along with Josy Alappuzha’s flute and Sandeep Mohan’s guitar, the tune is stirring. And then there’s Vijay Yesudas who takes the song to a next level, along with Sruthi Peetambaran. Beautiful song!