#WorldMusicDay: 9 Indian Indie Artists You Should Be Listening To
What’s a World Music Day post without doffing the proverbial hat at some of our homegrown indie talent? India’s indie music scene is a vibrant mix of electronica, rock and everything else in between, led by a young and experimental crop of bands and artists defying genres and traditional influences for a sound unlike anything you’ve heard before. Here’s my list of some of my favourite indie artists you should be listening to.
1. The F16s
With international acts like The Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and Vampire Weekend as their influences, these Chennai-based electro-rockers should be on your watch list for their great take on rock mixed with electronic influences ranging from trip-hop to dubstep. The mellow Light Bulbs is a great way to get an introduction to the band.
Sohrab Nicholson’s laid-back, experimental electronica sounds are definitely worth a listen. Better still, catch him live and you’ll come back wanting more.
Mumbai-based producer Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes’ music is a mix of organic electronic sounds expertly meshed with mid-tempo glitch and IDM. This track Slybounce — with Nicholson on vocals — refers to someone making a sly exit from social situations without anyone noticing. Totally defines me in any given social situation!
What does anyone say about Nucleya other than, “Fuck yeah!” If you haven’t already caught up with the phenomenal musician’s unique blend of sounds, you have no idea what you’re missing. His live gigs are positively electric and you’d be hard-pressed to find a single person not bouncing off the walls!
5. Your Chin
Raxit Tiwari’s solo avatar (he’s also the frontman for Sky Rabbit), Your Chin is his electro side project with tons of sing-along potential.
Madboy/Mink is the funk/nu-disco aesthetic of Saba Azad and Imaad Shah. Their ever-evolving sound ranges from electro swing to upbeat jazz and funky fresh grooves. What’s more, Azad’s stage energy is positively infectious.
7. Peter Cat Recording Co
It’s hard to categorise PCRC’s sound, which is variously described as gypsy folk, cabaret, psychedelic rock, and punk all rolled into one. All I can say is, the surreal, vintage vibe of this Delhi quartet’s unique orchestral music is worth following.
8. Sidd Coutto
Coutto is one of the most prolific musicians in the Indian indie scene, having played with a multitude of bands over the last 15 years. This track from his debut EP Sunny Side Up is one of my personal favourites.
9. Sky Rabbit
Sky Rabbit (the artists formerly known as Medusa) regularly feature on the best Indian indie bands lists, as they’ve nailed their fluid Radiohead-inspired sounds down to the T and there are few who don’t love it. I was first introduced to their music via this track Beep Off, and it continues to be one of my favourites. It also featured as the title track of MTV’s first web series Bring On The Night (2012), which was superbly written and directed by the talented Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy.