Heard Music

Alter Narrative // The Ups and Downs of Friendship

This music blog series explores a myriad of themes through unique musical lenses, all the while illuminating the captivating stories and talents of exceptional indie artists hailing from various corners of our country.

In the harmonious realm of music, there exists an enchanting tapestry woven with threads of emotions, experiences, and connections. Among these, the theme of friendship stands as a timeless cornerstone, inspiring melodies that resonate deeply within us. Join us as we turn our spotlight towards a treasure trove of musical gems, playing with melodies and lyrics that pay homage to the bonds that shape our lives, composed by the talented voices found beyond the mainstream spotlight.

  1. Faraway Friends – Ganga Hotel

“No matter where we are from, we all have a lot to learn, from sharing and understanding each other’s perspectives”.

A beautiful conjunction between India and Europe, “Ganga Hotel” tells the story of how the Faraway Friends collective came to be. Indian singer-songwriter Ditty, German rapper Keno, and Austrian drummer and producer David Raddish met for the first time at a hotel in Varanasi by the banks of the Ganga River – which is also where the chorus vocals for the song were recorded! 

The track has a playful and mystical energy embodying the exuberant experience of their meeting, and their friendship. The music twists and turns, changing almost every minute but remaining captivating throughout. We highly recommend watching the music video with the captions on, and immersing yourself completely in the soundscape and visuals.  

  1. Dee MC, Wild Wild Women – Doing Okay

This song is a beautiful celebration of the female experience, and the friendships that womxn form with each other. The lyrics sum up a quintessential conversation that every girl has definitely had with her group of best girlfriends in some form or another – a sassy camaraderie, cutting remarks and a perpetual sense of support, love and upliftment towards each other. It is always refreshing to see the themes of positive female friendships prominently featured, since it is too often that women are pitted against each other. 

Joining hip-hop OG Dee MC on this track are three members of the collective Wild Wild WomenPratika, J Queen and HashtagPretty. With different flows upon flows, the variations in all their voices, and a fun and familiar old-school beat by producer InStine, “Doing Okay” is an endlessly entertaining track which preaches women empowerment and friendship without taking itself too seriously. 

  1. The Lightyears Explode – Late Night Song

The Lightyears Explode are an alternative pop, punk rock duo comprising of guitarist and singer-songwriter Saurabh Roy and bassist Shalom Benjamin. “Late Night Song”, part of their critically acclaimed album “The Revenge of Kalicharan” is an energetic, honest piece with a simple pop structure and a definite tinge of their alternative rock influences.

In the lyrics, a bond of friendship emerges amidst chaos and longing, talking about how our “tribe” of friends becomes a steadfast source of support. The lyrics paint a picture of a unique camaraderie, metaphorically portraying the unwavering commitment friends provide. Through shared experiences of overindulgence and vulnerability, where the city’s lights and the night’s embrace mirror the constant presence and reliability of one’s closest circle of friends.

  1. The F16s – WKND FRNDS

“WKND FRNDS”, is full of summer-y xylophonic charm, drawn over a ridiculously catchy melody. The scratchy vocals make for a delicious contrast with the upbeat backtrack and the snappy drumming. In the lyrics, as with the title of the song, friendship is a central theme that highlights companionship and the desire to be close. They express a longing to connect, emphasising the willingness to adapt and adjust for the sake of the relationship – sounding a plea most of us can relate to. 

Chennai-based band The F16s are an Alternative Indie act with a penchant for the weird, styling themselves as the ever-changing ennui-fighting outliers in a cultural scene that tends to pick DJs over independent acts. The lineup consists of vocalist-guitarist Josh Fernandez, bassist Shashank Manohar, keyboardist/sampler Harshan Radhakrishnan, drummer Vikram Yesudas and guitarist Abhinav Krishnaswamy. 

  1. Chirag Todi, Ramya Pothuri, RANJ – Love Nobody

There’s no support system quite like a solid circle of friends – and if we can learn to befriend ourselves, then we can all be stronger than we ever imagined! This song treads between those themes, a journey that is beautifully portrayed in the music video. Gujarat – based composer Chirag Todi goes all in with a funky guitar and tight bass lines leading the piece, complemented by Ramya’s whimsical voice and RANJ’s hard-hitting (as always) rap verse.

A great track that blends elements of funk, soul, hip-hop and pop, ‘Love Nobody’ borrows heavy elements from the music of Tom Misch – especially the instrumentals, groovy beats, and production. A very vivid and engaging music video, complete with supportive friends, an incredibly expressive choreography and a “break up party”, ties it all together very well, wordlessly expressing the underlying message of this successful – and rightly so – song. 

As the crescendo of these melodies fade, we’re left with an indelible echo – the reminder that amidst life’s symphony, friendships are the timeless, unforgettable refrain that keeps us dancing, singing, and feeling truly alive.