Homing In Music

The songs that rest in India’s indie rock history

‘Bandeh’ by Indian Ocean

I don’t think I’ve come across anyone with an interest in rock who hasn’t heard this song. This is a beautifully written song that has gone on to become an anthem.

The songs that rest in India’s indie rock history

‘Voice’ by Pentagram

This one became so popular among audiences, that because of it people started delving into the band. It is a catchy, motivational song that will pump you up within the first listen. The music video was original for its time — they had gotten people from across the country to send in videos of them singing the lyrics and had patched it together.

The songs that rest in India’s indie rock history

‘Shaam Tanha’ by Agnee

‘Shaam Tanha’ is soulful and calming. Agnee is an established band, which made quite an impact on their audiences in its time. With talented musicians, it was one of the first few bands — like Indian Ocean — that made music with Hindi lyrics, yet did not sound like the Hindi music we were accustomed to. Back then, Hindi meant Bollywood music, something you’re supposed to dance to. And then suddenly there comes Agnee’s ‘Shaam Tanha’, a stark difference. It was not like, ‘Wow, I love this!’ on the first listen. Rather, it was like, ‘Wow, this is different, I need to listen to it again.’

The songs that rest in India’s indie rock history

‘Nada, Nada’ by Avial

A beautiful song by a beautiful band that composes music entirely in Malayalam. It showed me that language is not a barrier in music. I am from Kerala but I don’t speak much Malayalam, and I couldn’t understand anything in this song. But that really didn’t matter, if anything it made me more curious. I read the translation of the lyrics to understand what the song is talking about, and found out that the vibe I got from it was accurate. For any good band, the emotions are translated through the musicality.

The songs that rest in India’s indie rock history

‘Only Human’ by Skinny Alley

Skinny Alley, which also went by the alias Pink Noise, was from Kolkata. This particular sound was not mainstream, but with more upbeat jazz and punk. It was not the sound you expect from a rock band. The instrumentation was more on the technical side, and the more I heard it, the more I wanted to listen to other bands in this realm of music.

(We would love to know how you are keeping busy at home. Tell us what you are listening to at metro@thehindu.co.in)

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 1:56:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/aswekeepsearching-robert-alex-playlist-on-indian-indie-rock-music/article32335793.ece

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