By Komal Singh:
For the longest time when someone asked me, ‘What kind of music do you like?’ I didn’t know what to say. Saying rock, pop or fusion didn’t feel right. I knew songs that felt right. Even artists. But I wasn’t sure about a particular genre that I connected with the most.
If you asked me that today, an easy, uninhibited answer would be indie folk. Indie folk bands are influenced by traditional and contemporary folk music, classic country, and indie rock. Their influences vary from Bob Dylan and Stills, to Nash & Young. They are most likely to play whatever instrument makes sense in a song, whether it’s a trumpet or banjo or electric guitar. But most of the bands are built around a singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar.
The first time I heard Shantanu Pandit play was when he sang ‘Get Up and Go’ at a park, with a guitar and a harmonica strapped around his neck and his long, beautiful hair covering most of his face. His voice cheery and excited.
The last time I heard him play was at Kitch Mandi in Bangalore. His long hair all gone (what a tragedy!). But that voice, his voice, turned into that of a deep artist. An artist who is only interested in connecting to your soul. And he gives you the permission to hang on to his every word and create a new meaning for yourself. For some, it might be pain; others, love. But for all of us, that music is poetry – simple yet profound in ways we can’t decipher. Then again, who wants to? It’s the mystery of not knowing that makes you want to listen to his music some more.
Prateek Kuhad, another musician, whose music can be described as soulful and contemporary folk, creates exactly the kind of music you’d be drawn to when you are feeling nostalgic or moved or vulnerable. All the good stuff, you know. It’s the kind of music you’d want listen to on a Thursday evening with a cup of tea and rain at your doorstep. The first time I listened to his music, I couldn’t stop playing it over and over again. It’s the lightness in his voice and the lyrical beauty of his words that keep you captivated. As I write this, I’m playing some of my favorites, ‘Yeh Pal’, ‘Voh’ and ‘Oh Love’, in the background.
Long story short, be nice to yourself and give Skunk In The Cellar, a recently released EP by Shantanu Pandit and In Tokens & Charms by Prateek Kuhad a listen, won’t you?
To know more of what I think about such things and more, follow me on twitter @komsikins.