Milliblog Weeklies, Week 129 – Oct.11, 2020

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 129: On JioSaavn | On YouTube
10 songs, this week. Both YouTube and JioSaavn have all 10 songs – yay!

Rihaa – Arijit Singh (Hindi/Indipop): It’s possibly because Arijit has sung so often for Pritam that the composition too sounds a lot like Pritam’s! Or, it could be because Pritam’s resident music producer, Sunny M.R. is behind this song too! But I wouldn’t take anything away from Arijit – it’s a dreamy, delightful tune, amped by gorgeously arranged backgrounds… and fantastically sung! The lyrics by Shloke Lal, and the Bangla rap portions by Arijit himself, that beautiful Dotara layer in the middle by Tapas Roy… everything fits so well in this wonderful song. And yes, a highly imaginative music video too, with a puppet-based stop-motion!

Kahaani – When Chai Met Toast (Hindi/Indipop): The 2nd single by the band in the last 2 months! The song’s pensive, bitter-sweet lines and the sound dominated by the guitar, at least in the beginning, made it sound like a classic Simon & Garfunkel song. Great listen, and a good watch too considering the music video features Anna Ben!

Panchhi – Sunny M.R. (Hindi/Indipop): Another musician, besides Papon, who has been very productive during the pandemic is Sunny M.R., possibly owing the the lack of film projects in assisting Pritam. He has released 4 singles in the past 3 months, including this new one. While the terrible looking digital bird, that seems to be related to Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’s Raja Tota, is an eyesore level distraction in the video, the song itself very Sunny – a sedate melody that fits perfectly in his many Telugu soundtracks. The video’s very-Tamil setting and the starting “Onnu, rendu, moonu’ was a strange surprise!

Beishqi Galiyaan – Prateek Gandhi (Hindi/Indipop): A wonderfully breezy tune by Prateek that gets fantastic articulation by Shefali Alvares and Benny Dayal’s voices! The tune kinda took me to Pritam’s composition style, and I mean that as a compliment. Also, the contrast of having Shefali’s rendition of Beishqi Galiyaan in the lower pitch and Benny’s rendition in the higher pitch, and then blending them together was a nice touch.

Namee – Shivam Srivastava (Hindi/Indipop): Lilting and catchy melody by Shivam, very well sung by Pranita Nair Pandurangi. The profusion of guitars prop the song significantly too, while the ‘Teri hi namee’ hook is so very addictive.

Kanna Thoodhu Po Da – Putham Pudhu Kaalai (Govind Vasantha) – Tamil: Govind strikes gold again and how! With Karky’s lyrics for support, he gets Bombay Jayashri to sing an exquisite melody that seemed to be like Dharmavati or Madhuvanti raaga – there’s ‘Vaa vaa meendum meendum thaalaattu’ of Rahman’s Ethu Sugam of Vandicholi Chinnarasu in places, and the flow of Yuvan’s outstanding Kanda Naal Mudhal title song. Govind keeps the backgrounds sober and simple, and amply backing the haunting melody, letting Jayashri shine!

Kanmaniye – Ganesan Sekar, ft. Arunraja Kamaraj (Tamil/Indipop): A very, very catchy and competent tune by Ganesan Sekar! The tune reminded me of Dharan’s musical style – not his current, indifferent form, but his heydays that included Sivi (2007). The use of staccato-rap style verse (“Kaarkuzhal aruviyil nanaindhidum varam…” and “Anbe andre ange ennai”) add to the song’s vibrancy. Arunraja Kamaraj delivers the song with panache, and a special note of appreciation for his very-Tamil lyrics!

Oru Manam – Dhruva Natchathiram (Harris Jayaraj) – Tamil: Whoa, after a long time – a Harris-Gautham song, after 2015’s Yennai Arindhaal! In Karthik’s voice, and Thamarai’s graceful lines (punctuated by adequate violence in the video, at that!), the song works effortlessly. And, as usual, it takes one back to the music of Rahman too, particularly the line in the anupallavi and charanam (‘Yennai unnai pirithidum’, ‘Vaanam peiyya kadavathu’) take you back to Rahman’s 1999 Hindi song from Thakshak – Khamosh Raat: “Jhuke jhuke palken jab uthi” and the entire anupallavi/antara from that song!

Yetto Velli Diaries – Sandeep Chowta (Instrumental): To celebrate 25 years of composer Sandeep Chowta’s first soundtrack, Ninne Pelladata, Sandeep has used his current musical sensibilities to revisit one of the popular songs from that film – Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu, sung originally by the amazing SPB-clone’ish Rajesh Krishnan. The song gets 7 different versions, in assorted instrumental articulations, all highly enjoyable. My favorites are Chapter Five and Chapter Six, featuring Sandeep’s distinct jazz style. Chapter Five, featuring Telemakus on the piano is particularly fantastic and explores the tune with incredible nuance.

Full playlist (starts with the original Telugu song for context):

Mathangi Marakathangi – Muthuswami Dikshitar, ft. Hamsika Iyer (Indian Classical): Hamsika assembles a choice team to accentuate her incredibly articulated version of Muthuswami Dikshitar’s hauntingly beautiful prayer – Manikanth Kadri producing the rhythm, TAAQ’s Bruce Lee Mani on the guitar and S.M.Subhani on the mandolin. The song, set in Dhoutha Panchama raaga (wrongly mentioned as Dhauthapanchapam in the music video credits, though) evokes Pantuvarali’sh vibes to me and is a great listen.