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10 Best Indie Tracks Of 2016 To Add To Your Playlist

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There’s no dearth of masterfully-crafted tunes in India right now. In the last year, we’ve seen everything from iPhone-shot music videos that depicted Divine’s rise to a hilarious snapshot of Parsi family life by the Family Cheese. Plus, let’s not forget the evocative jaded paean to the digital age by Donn Bhat.

Here’s what found its way into our playlists and stayed in 2016 (not in any particular order).

1. Connected — Donn Bhat

Mumbai’s producer whiz hits upon a topic we all relate to – being stuck on to our phones, being sucked into our phone screens – with his lyrical cynicism and wit. And if it makes you dance as well, that’s a job well done.

Listen to it, here.

 

2. Not Yet Dinosaurs — The Circus

One of Delhi’s most measured rock releases came with The Circus’ With Love. The first thing people heard from the album was this thumping riff-laden song called Not Yet Dinosaurs, vocalist Abhishek Bhatia’s dark musings leading listeners into the heaviest rhythmic patterns.

 

3. The Bawa Rap — The Family Cheese

First in Chennai’s Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, now based in Mumbai, The Family Cheese prefaced their long-awaited debut album with a hilarious video and rap funk song talking about what happens when a Parsi kid gets busted for smoking weed.

 

4. Aa Jaao — Ankur Tewari

Punctuated by ace axeman Warren Mendonsa’s (Blackstratblues) melancholic slide guitar blues, singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari could have been musing on pretty much anything under the sun in that wistful voice and it would’ve sounded beautiful.

5. Manic — Spud In The Box

The Mumbai rock band’s complex, polished full-length album Lead Feet Paper Shoes featured a lot of material that was in the works for a couple of years or so, and the one that was most anticipated for us was Manic, the best showcase of their searing prog-meets-melodic rock sound that can fill stadiums.

Listen to it, here.

 

6. Hawk — Your Chin

All of Mumbai producer Your Chin’s 2016 EP Peeping Till It’s Noise is pretty standout, but we’re going with Hawk only because it is, in some ways, one of his murkier creations. Layered with a signature hint of glitch and a synth line that’s probably dark-disco, this one is a perfect indicator of how the producer is growing.

7. 011 — The Ska Vengers

Delhi’s politico-bashing reggae/ska band The Ska Vengers have a lot of bangers on their second album XX, but when they turn up the volume on their guitars and get their punk on, raging about the dual nature of intelligence on 011, they hit the roaring peak of the album.

Listen to it, here.

 

8. Tune Kaha — Prateek Kuhad

If there’s anyone who can claim to have a hell of a year, it’s Prateek Kuhad, with his MTV Europe Music Award, world tours and a luminescent tune like Tune Kaha. When you can make catchy, simple tunes like these, it’s no surprise that every venue in the country would throw its doors open to you.

9. Cannibal Life II — The F16s

Chennai rockers The F16s’ first taste of their debut full-length album Triggerpunkte was a flittering, calculated indie rock melody that shimmers throughout. It’s a different matter that they also unleash some really pissed off punk on Triggerpunkte, but this song is now synonymous with the band’s sound.

Listen to it, here.

 

10. Jungli Sher — Divine

You can’t blame hip-hop for being boastful and brash, but that’s not at all what Divine is about. When he talks about rising after years of toil, he’s also talking about how a city like Mumbai helped him realise his dreams. That’s what makes Jungli Sher even more hard-hitting.

This story first appeared on AskMen India. For more stories like this, visit in.askmen.com

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Anurag is a Bangalore-based music journalist who spends his time looking for great music and rare Pokémon.

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