Top 10 listicles and good music make our worlds spin out of whack! Especially at this time of year when looking back is all the rage. It’s an age-old year end tradition and one we’re not planning on giving up anytime soon. We can’t keep away more so because this one comes straight from deep down this writer’s heart.
With that cute little disclaimer… Here are our 10 favourite Indian indie releases of 2016 that you need to get with right now:
Parekh & Singh – Ocean
This Kolkata based dream-pop duo are doing it right! Two of this country’s finest young musicians, Nishchay Parekh and Jivraj Singh combined their super stylized forces to form a solid act that’s flawless on record and on stage. They re-released their debut album “Ocean” in October after signing with international Independent record label Peacefrog Records this past year and scored some serious visual brownie points with their whimsical video for their single “I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll“.
Donn Bhat – Connected
Electro-folk producer and guitarist Donn Bhat, created some magic this year with his album “Connected” this year. Collaborating with his buddy and fellow producer and songwriter, Toymob, on 6 out of 7 tracks on the album, every song here is perfect for any kind of mood you’re feeling. It’ll get your feet moving and your brain thinking.
The Ska Vengers – XX
Delhi based, ska-punk-dub band, The Ska Vengers, released their much-awaited sophomore album “XX (Double Cross)” in June 2016 and supported it with a country wide tour followed by a full on 19 date tour of the UK. Known for being a hella fun live act, all 9 songs on the album are super fun to listen to and so catchy, you’ll find yourself humming and grooving to these. Cue… “rhythm track”!
The Circus – With Love
Delhi based rock band, The Circus, won the scene earlier this year with their album titled “With Love“. These guys have been putting their heads down and working their fit bums off over the last five maybe six years – They’ve played most venues in the country (with this band or their many trillions of side projects), probably all the festivals as well and have consistently released material through it all. They hit one groovy, grimey and prog heavy home run with these 7 tracks, best played when you’re feeling particularly angsty.
Sandunes – Downstream
If instrumental and bouncy electronica is what floats your boat then you’ve got to check out “Downstream” – a 10 track album by Mumbai based producer, Sandunes, that’s full of hypnotic and warm synth sounds and tight beats. So very wavey and so totally yummy!
The debut album by moody-waltz band, Run Its The Kid has the sparkliest finish of ’em all. You’ll want to go from the first track to the second and then to the next and so on till you’ve heard out all 10 tunes and then repeat the whole cycle all over again, we promise! You’ll also want someone to hug and cuddle after so be warned.
Disco Puppet – Spring
In an interview with online music magazine Wild City, Bangalore based electronic music producer, Disco Puppet talks about his latest 5 track EP – “In ‘Spring’, I have tried to capture my childhood. Both with the sounds used and the feelings the songs evoke. You know how sometimes, there’s a word in the pit of your stomach – you know it, but it’s not really coming to you. It’s like that.” Yeah, we feel. And if you haven’t then you need to click on play, listen it out and feel it too…
Hoirong – Mwah
We just love it when a tune can make us laugh, chuckle, headbang and dance all at the same time. This grungey band made of musicians based out of Delhi and Bangalore have a cool sense of humour and can’t help but sprinkle a good helping of it on all 14… (yes 14!) tracks of “Mwah“. Shoe-gazing and cussing are some of the things we secretly love… It’s also what most people love so we’re sure you’re going to be digging on this one.
Lawntuba – On Silver Clouds
This EP by Mumbai based quartet is so cool and psychedelic. We’re loving the gentle male vocals, their groovy rhythm section, cute and fluttery guitar parts and lovely harmonies on all 5 tunes. Takes us into a dreamy time and it’s going to do the same to you.
GODLESS – Centuries of Decadence
WARNING: It’s going to get really REALLY loud so click on the link only if you’re a Metal freak.
This writer truly believes that metal makes everything better. It’s most definitely an acquired taste and if you’re not a fan of HEAVY riffs, suffocatingly tight and fast drumming and growly vocals then you shouldn’t even dare. But if you are a fan then this Hyderabad based death metal band’s got our attention with their no fuss and gimmicks live shows and these 4 bone-shaking tracks.
Apart from these 10 there are a couple more who made it onto our Top 15 and others that you need to keep an eye, and a ear, out for – River (Acoustic Folk-Pop), Begum (Low-fi, Experimental-Pop), The Groovesmen (blues rock), Parvaaz (Fusion, Rock n Roll), Spud In The Box (Alternative Rock) Death by Fungi (Hardcore/Metal).
There’s so much good and original music coming from every corner of the country. The only way to keep this steady and energetic flow of indie going is by supporting the artists, who deserve every credit for bravely baring their hearts and souls onto a record and into every show they play live. So next time social media throws a live music event at you, get a ticket, check the scene out and give their Facebook pages a ‘like’. An easy way to support them is by paying for and downloading for albums and sharing your cool new knowledge with all your friends and loves.
We hope music made your 2016 a little better to deal with and really want to know what other 2016 indie releases you loved. Tell us in your comments below!
Here’s to a bass-smacking, thub-thumping and absolutely electrifying 2017!