Saturday June 12, 2021

Milliblog Weeklies, Week 150 – Jun.13, 2021

Posted by Karthik

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 150: On Spotify | On YouTube
Back after another week’s break. Reason? A severe shortage of new music. Many of the record labels that I track have new releases with the frequency of only one new song for the entire last month – and this is entirely understandable, given the condition of the pandemic in India, even as we hear mildly positive signs like lockdowns being eased. Yet, there is no doubt that this 2nd wave has affected every single one of us in some way or other; very personally for some, and a bit distant, for others.
19 songs this week. Both YouTube and Spotify are missing 3 songs each, but not the same 3 🙂 YouTube is missing 3 songs from Shalmali Kholgade’s composing debut, June. Spotify is missing Vijai Bulganin’s Thattukoledhey, Ashwin Renju’s Oblivion, and Anish Indira Vasudev’s Kurinji.

Theengu Thaakka – Jagame Thandhiram (Santhosh Narayanan) – Tamil: The soundtrack already has some fantastic music – I have written about 3 other songs earlier. In Theengu Thaakka, even if the template is akin to Santhosh’s body of work in Kabali, the gangsta rap works pretty well thanks to Arivu’s lead vocals (besides GKB). ​

Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum – Netrikann (Girishh Gopalakrishnan) – Tamil: The song’s theme seems so appropriate for the times we are living in, bringing the ‘This too shall pass’ context to make us consider the larger picture. Girishh’s melody is aptly pleasant and easily likeable. With Sid Sriram’s vocals, that’s a given, but the music Girishh assembles, particularly, Joseph Vijay’s electric guitar, enhance the experience.

Thattukoledhey – Vijai Bulganin (Indipop/Telugu): I recall Vijai because of his music in the 2017 film Rendu Rellu Aaru. That soundtrack had 2 fantastic songs, the Pradeep Kumar-sung Anukundantha, and Milamilamila Mandari. I don’t think I have heard anything that great from him in recent times, so this new song is a nice surprise. Vijai composes and sings Thattukoledhey, also featuring Sindhuja Srinivasan’s vocals. Branded as a ‘break-up song’ the tune’s gentle melancholy, Vanraj Shashtri’s sarangi helps accentuate that tone. Vijai’s singing is a bit raw, but works well in the context of the song’s feel.

Yemito Yemito & Kannaye Kallu – Ee Kathalo Paathralu Kalpitam (Karthik Kodakandla) – Telugu: I missed this soundtrack when it came out in March and caught up with it recently. Composer Karthik Kodakandla does very well in Kannaye Kallu, with its soft, ghatam-infused background, and sings it confidently too along with Nutana Mohan. Yemito Yemito, despite being in the template of Kareeb’s Chori Chori Jab or Jay Jay’s Unai Naan, is still a lovely listen.

Pularikal – Pina Colada Blues (Indipop/Malayalam): While the entire album, Once Upon A Blue Moon, is definitely an interesting listen, this song, sung by Aromal Chekaver, was the one that stood out for me. It seamlessly blends Malayalam folk’ish sound with electronica and the result is fascinating!

Oblivion – Ashwin Renju (Indipop/Malayalam): Even though there seems to be significantly more attention lavished on the music video’s concept, the music by Ashwin is beautiful! In KS Harisankar’s soaring vocals, the tune’s slow, sedate sweep comes out wonderfully!

Kurinji – Anish Indira Vasudev (Indipop/Malayalam): Even though the first line of the song invokes the raaga Neelambari, I don’t think the song is set to that raaga. I’m not able to place the raaga, but the melody is incredibly soothing. Najim Arshad is a phenomenal choice for the song and he lifts the already lovely song several notches.

Mathilkakathu – Karlmarx Bakthanayirunnu (Manikandan Ayyappa) – Malayalam: After Madhuradhari from the movie (that was released in February 2021), Manikandan returns with another enjoyable song, though this is diametrically different from that one! This one’s upbeat and effortlessly catchy. And, with Sithara Krishnakumar singing it, it only gets better!

Baba, Ha Vaara & Paar Gaeli – June (Shalmali Kholgade) – Marathi: Shalmali finally makes her final composing debut and what a debut this is! Baba, in both versions (by Abhay Jodhpurkar, and by Anandi Joshi) is an outstanding melody adorned with such beautiful background music. While Aanandi’s version is guitar-led (Arbaz Khan), Abhay’s version is more varied in terms of the sound. The background chorus use and the gradual build-up of the music work wonders. Shalmali picks up Ha Vaara herself, and given the song’s pensive tone, handles it wonderfully. Once again, the background chorus is a beautiful layer. In Paar Gaeli, Shalmali’s tune is more optimistic than that other 2 songs’ overall tone. It is a feel-good tune accentuated, once again, by a winsome chorus.

Pind Khali Lagda – Amjad Nadeem Aamir (Indipop/Punjabi): A simple, earthy and catchy Punjabi melody by Amjad Nadeem Aamir. There’s nothing extraordinary about the song or the backgrounds, but the simplicity is what makes it so engaging. And of course, Palak Muchhal’s sweet singing.

So… Now Hear This, Celebration, Ballad of Krishna, Hues & Ex-Animo – Abhay Nayampally (Abhay Nayampally) – Indipop/Instrumental: Abhay is a student of Mandolin maestro U Srinivas, but uses the electric guitar to play carnatic-infused jazz! He does his guru very, very proud in his debut album, produced by himself and co-produced by Sandeep Chowta. So…Now Hear This, the opener, is a beautifully Hamsadhwani-layered melody. The Bossa Nova’ish Celebration has all the trademarks of Sandeep, given that this is the only track in the album entirely produced by Sandeep, and is a fantastic listen. Abhay attempts a new take on Krishna Nee Begane in Ballad of Krishna, and with his superb guitar work, the new ode to the classic works wonders with its delightful jazz base. Hues is my personal favorite from the album, thanks to its Abheri raaga base. Abhay starts his exposition on a sedate note till the first minute of the song and it takes off style at 1:08! Ex-Animo is a serene exploration of Madhyamavathi raaga and Abhay’s proficiency reminded me immediately of U Srinivas! This is an outstanding debut album!

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