What’s so special about Indian Indie music one asks? Well, picture this…
You are born in a neighbourhood of engineers, doctors, bankers, lawyers. From the word go, you have often been told to settle for a safe choice – something that can easily earn you your bread and has a definitive upward graph. But you decide to follow your passion, follow something that has been ironically defined as an ‘offbeat’ career choice. You defy the odds, build something from the ground up, and leave everyone in awe whilst doing all of it.
Yes, that’s what’s special – making music while you are surrounded with noise, predominantly all on your own, without the support of a record label. So when an individual or a group, does something like this, you’ve got to celebrate it…so here we are, bringing to you 6 lovely sounds from the soil, that we think deserve all the limelight and more. Here’s Nmag’s list of top Indian Indie artists that should definitely make your favourite playlists.
When Chai Met Toast
This multilingual indie-folk band is widely known for their happy and light-hearted music. Founded in 2016, the band has already been setting high notes by being in VH1’s top 50 list and developing music for web series such as Die Trying. Their songs such as Khoj, Firefly and Believe are a true delight and have the power to lift your mood. Their music is mostly a melody of Hindi and English lyrics with beats that can transport you to road trips in the hills or quiet walks by the beach.
Ranjani Ramadoss aka Ranj
The Bengaluru based singer and rapper, earlier with a fusion band, has made waves with her eccentric indie music which hits your ear lobes differently. It’s one of those symphonies that you would want to play in the background while you star in your life. She has a tune for every mood & situation, that our generation loves vibing to…be it nostalgia, relationships, friendship or sexuality. Her collaboration on “Underdog” is life-affirming and a sure pick-yourself-up anthem. Her music is a masterpiece with an amalgamation of simplistic elements and intelligent writing that can make your workouts more kick*** and relaxation more soothing.
He is no secret when it comes to Indian indie music, after all, he made it to Obama’s 2019 annual playlist with his song cold mess. His music knowledge is influenced by Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie which inspired him to write his music and play the guitar. If music had the power to make you meditate while you go on with the struggles of life, then it has to be his creation. His creations such as Kasoor and Kho Gaye hum Kahaan will make you want to forget reality and just live, breathe and absorb life a little more.
Sunflower Tape Machine
Aryaman Singh is a creator of the experimental solo project with indie/psychedelic rock tunes which gives a new meaning to 80’s inspired analog synth tunes. His music is inspired by the sounds of bands such as Tame Impala, Men I trust and Dayglow. The music is upbeat and has rhythms that step up the bedroom pop music vibe. ‘Sophomore Sweetheart’ makes you want to groove and go on with life with flare, while ‘Death, Colorised’ will make you dim your problems and meditate. With Indie music that touches every sphere of your being, this artist has something for every occasion.
Hari & Sukhmani
This duo is known to fuse up folk Punjabi music with electronic elements with streaks of Sufi poetry. Who would have guessed that all our favourite things could be put together and fall on our ears like flower petals? Their music cuts through folk music like butter and makes you fall in love with the earthy hues of music all over again. Their music is a perfect take on house parties with homies who love music.
The Local Train
The Delhi based Hindi rock band is a hidden gem for so many. Their music has a flavour of old school music which we all grew up listening to in colleges and imagining life and things happening around us in a blur. Their song, “Choo Lo” ignites a feeling of reminiscence of all the lovely relationships, friendships and unrequited love that makes you relive those flashes with a smile. If you are someone who imagines themselves as a walking artist in a movie called life, then you should definitely listen to their songs such as Dil Mere, Mere Yaar, and Vaaqif.
Well, we wish to bring you more of this raw, soulful, and truly independent genre. So if you like what you read and would want us to cover more of such artists, do leave a comment. Till then, keep moving to the sound of Indian Indie.
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