Milliblog Weeklies, Week 207 – January 15, 2023

Milliblog Weeklies – India’s only multilingual, weekly new music playlist.
Week 207: On | On
After last week’s (relatively) mega-sized playlist, a rather short one, this week – just 7 songs! All the songs are available on Spotify, while YouTube is missing one song, from Kalyanam Kamaneeyam (which is inside a jukebox, embedded below).

Tere Saath – Kuttey (Vishal Bhardwaj) – Hindi: Despite having Vishal Bhardwaj’s music, except this song, nothing worked for me in Kuttey’s soundtrack! This one, though, is vintage Vishal Bhardwaj, which, as I have often mentioned, is the kind of song he usually used to get Suresh Wadkar to sing. But as he has been doing increasingly, he sings it himself. For the female vocals, Vishal springs a surprise by roping in TikTok stars, San Diego-based Saishankar twins – Kiran Saishankar and Nivi Saishankar! The melody is deeply resonant and sweeping in appeal—made better by the singing—and Vishal jigs it beautifully with the restless drums in the background that offers wonderful contrast.

Rasathi – Shankar Mahadevan (ft. Anthony Daasan and KJ Iyenar) – Tamil/Indipop: This is a pleasant surprise, considering Shankar Mahadevan doesn’t compose often in Tamil (and does, more often in Hindi or Marathi, even along with his film composing partners Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendosa)! With its gently swaying, foot-tapping rhythm, the pop-folk song works effortlessly! Shankar’s singing, as always, is extraordinarily enjoyable, and Anthony Daasan supports him really well. KJ Iyenar’s rap, though, seems less pronounced or useful within the song’s scheme.

Kadak – Double Engine (Vivek Sagar) – Telugu: It’s really good to see Vivek move away from his usual styles and deliver this thoroughly captivating song led by Jagdeesh and Smaran (Vivek joins them). I found a distinct Sri Lankan sensibility in the song, particularly in the rhythm.

Cab Song (Tension Tension) – Kalyanam Kamaneeyam (Shravan Bharadwaj) – Telugu: While the overall soundtrack is, in my view, less impressive than some of Shravan’s earlier work, a few songs (as I had written last week) do stand out. Cab Song (called ‘Tension Tension’) is definitely one. Sung by Sai Charan with superb verve, the racy ‘Tension Tension’ hook underlines a wonderfully rhythmic song.

Kuthithiruki – Kadina Kadoramee Andakadaham (Govind Vasantha) – Malayalam: A catchy song that sounds less like what I usually expect from Govind who also sings it in ways I do not usually expect 🙂 The Bouzouki used all through the song stands out like a separate element calling for attention and adds so much charm. The more interesting part is Govind crediting, openly, ‘EarthMoments World String Series’ for it (the Bouzouki). Search for the sample credited and you can hear the exact sounds used by Govind straight off the sample (listen to the ‘demo song’ and ‘demo sample 05’ for instance, in the playlist below.

Amidst composers using samples to create their music, I don’t recall seeing a sample library being credited this directly. The Bouzouki used in this song is foundational to Govind’s tune in that it directs the tone and melody to quite an extent, in my view. So his crediting is apt, and very welcome!

Devi Neeye – Thankam (Bijibal) – Malayalam: Bijibal makes use of the tune we most associate with Mahishasura Mardini stotram as a constant refrain in Devi Neeye to brilliant effect! The song, written by Anwar Ali, and sung by Najim Arshad (syncretic effort, this!) is a vibrant Devi prayer but in a commercial vein with a deep musical backdrop.

Hostel Hudugaru Protest Song – Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare (B. Ajaneesh Loknath) – Kannada: When the main line, ‘Physicsu paperge’ started, I started singing along the tune of ‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana’ to a slower beat 🙂 But Ajaneesh has different things in store for this hugely enjoyable mish-mash of a song. The song is led by him, but it’s the chorus comprising 13 singers who offer stellar backing all through. The anthemic sound is the undercurrent, but Ajaneesh has so many catchy phrases peppered throughout the song that work together as a whole confidently!