One of the best things about living in today’s India is that the country is brimming with a lively local music scene. Musicians are emerging from different cities and towns to form bands to bring us music of all genres. So energetic is this space that it even prompted a Monica Dogra to move base from New York to Bombay to pursue her own musical dreams (and yes, I am a BIG fan of Shaa’ir). In all probability, talented musicians roamed the streets of this country all along; exploring music of all types. Maybe with the infest of social media and numerous venues readily hosting gigs, the average Joe can now look beyond the Coldplays and John Mayers of the world and sway to the beats of the local talents.
And here are 5 new local bands from Delhi that you should lend your ear to and catch at their next gig –
1.Neue Jazz Collective
Their sound – As the band says, ‘Music which blends traditional jazz with modern harmonic sensibilities’. I say, ‘You can effortlessly tell how talented the artists are.’
The band – Pianist/composer Prabir Sekhri, Guitarist Bhaskar Gurung, Bassist Rahul Rai and Drummer Reuben Narain
Why them – Lush arrangements and uninhibited improvisation makes this band the perfect company for your glass of wine. Best experienced live so catch them at their next gig and thank me later!
Listen to – Dreaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p8DhWkNdow
2.The Moody Caterpillars
Their sound – As the band says, ‘Dream-pop/surreal/large and sort of dreamy’. I say, ‘Sigh, SO dreamy’.
The band – Singer/Songwriter Ratnang Singh and Guitarist/Songwriter Jishnu Banerjee
Why them – Because nobody is doing anything this dreamy and doing it so well. If you are a fan of the 60s, 70s and 80s, you will travel back in time with these boys and you will have them on loop.
Listen to – Spring without a zephyr at https://soundcloud.com/themoodycaterpillars/spring-without-a-zephyr
3.Shadow and Light
Their sound – As the band says, ‘Contemporary/Cinematic/Pop/Hindustani Classical’. I say, ‘Very earthy and reminds me of one of my favourite words, petrichor – the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil’.
The band – Vocalist/Lyricist Pavithra Chari and Music Arranger/Producer Anindo Bose
Why them – How often do you listen to Hindustani classical music (willingly)?
Listen to – Dheemi at https://soundcloud.com/shadow-and-light-india/dheemi
Their sound – As the band says, ‘Juicy, crunchy, low end love, pop, hip hop’. I say, ‘I think they meant electro pop’.
The band – Vocalist Toymob a.k.a. Ashhar Farooqui, Percussionist Sahil Mendiratta, better known as Inspector Maal and Guitarist Punit Jantu who also, as the band’s FB page says, ‘tames junglee janwars’
Why them – Q.U.I.R.K.Y. To love them, you have to witness their energy live.
Listen to – VitaAmin Sex at https://soundcloud.com/ija-kumaon/vitaamin-sex/s-ZA0jv
Their sound – As the band says, ‘very confusing, with traces of punk, post-rock, pop, noise, art-rock and disco’. I say, ‘Confusion is the best state of mind because you have the option to go either way’.
The band – Vocalist/Guitarist Kamal Singh, Guitarist Akhil Sood, Vocalist/Guitarist Samar Grewal and Drummer Akshat Nauriyal
Why them – Alt rock meets pop, slathered with a healthy dose of experimental sounds; what’s not to like about these guys, who have actually been around for almost 2 years. Also, this one’s not a recommendation for the gentle souls and those with no threshold for anything loud.
Listen to – Leprosy rhymes with therapy at https://soundcloud.com/hoirong/side-leprosy-rhymes-with-1