Relationships, heartbreaks, traumas, yearning might be some common themes for musicians to write songs about but that doesn’t undermine the fact that how strongly they are felt by a listener who is undergoing or has been through a similar experience. Some strings are so deeply rooted in the darkest corners of our hearts & minds, that it is mostly unspeakable & hard to express. But once a while some relatable poetry/music pops up in our lives that takes us through a trip down the memory lane. This week’s Alter-narrative edition is about 8 heart-wrenching numbers that are sure to detach you from the outside world & give you a shrill down the spine.
“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt”John Green
Percussive-fingerstyle guitarist and Singer/Songwriter Samar Mehdi touches the notes that most musicians struggle to even think about. Martbaan is a rendition of a same-titled poem by June Paye, in which she talks about a person who is imagined carrying a crock filled with light to a safe house and with each visit this person is losing her will where it reaches to a point that the she is considering to not return to the safe house & give it up once and for all. Bhopal Based Mehdi’s version of this poem is from the perspective of someone who cares about this person and is trying to break them out of the loop so that they can finally face the situation. Sarah Mehdi has provided the poetry vocals, portraying the female protagonist as she becomes more & more despondent with time.
In Rihaee, Guwahati-based Indie-folk musician Sujan Sinha is pleading to ‘the one who got away’ to break all ties so he can make peace with the separation rather than hanging between two boats that always screws up the sense of reality. The magic of a Ukulele & clear-cut songwriting always invites the listeners for repetitive listens, this 3 minute gem is not melancholic but an attempt to accept the situation & look forward to what the future holds.
Why do we yearn for the one who we know will never come back? A question that cannot be comprehended by our small brains and yet we struggle to find the answers. New Delhi-based Bharat Chauhan is known for such surreal lyricism & his husky vocals, ‘Tu hoti toh’ slowly paces from the fingerstyle melodic lines to a more alt-rock driven hopelessly romantic song. But unfortunately like most cases the romance is one-sided and it’s like Chauhan is watering dead plants in his dreamy and nostalgic fantasy.
This 17-year old Gurgaon based singer/songwriter has established a ‘Pop-sensation’ identity among a substantial audience in India & abroad as well. ‘Why’ is vocal warbling at its best where Chettri sings about the typical traumatic state of affairs as she is expecting her man to be by her side when she needs him the most. What stands her out from others is the orchestral-like harmonised vocals in this song with a comfortably high pitch that gives me goosebumps every time I play it.
Duo Abhin & Tanish comprises Abhin Joshi & Tanish Khandelwal from Jaipur. Their debut single ‘Kami hai’, sounds like a track tailor fit for feature films to fill the scenes where the passage of time is shown. Slow-beats & lush soundscape talks about how everything is incomplete without the essence of that one person that adds vibrant colours to even the black & white areas of our life.
It’s only after we lose someone that we realise their importance, sometimes it’s too late that the only thing left is ‘regret’. Omiqi mixes future bass & Lo-fi with unsettling remorse that is almost eargasmic yet has a sound that makes you feel you are part of a movie while looking outside the car window as the raindrops slowly crawl down. In ‘Le chal tu mujhe kahin’, Anshul naithini a.k.a Omiqi wants to escape his surroundings with his beloved who is far away in the lands of the unknown.
Alt-Rock music has the power to elucidate the emotions that are hard-hitting, profound & complex. Atharva’s almost on the verge to give up in his song ‘Intezaar’ but still bears a positive belief that she will turn back to him and burn all the bridges. Crisp guitar riffs and resonant drumming makes this a must listen for those who are filled with rage and still patiently waiting.
Sabu’s comforting vocals goes on to convey the ramifications of failed relationships in his song ‘Find another man’ that features fellow singer/songwriter Ramya Pothuri. It’s a rare finding when the sounds of 2 musicians compliment each other and form an amalgamation that is pure bliss. The song is a part of Sabu’s self titled EP that talks about mental health and undealt intricacies of a bad breakup throughout.