Discovering Indo Soul

When it’s the strings, I am easily hooked. I am a guitar lover. I can not resist the strumming. And I can’t get enough.

It’s not just the guitar though. I saw David Garret perform the Pirates theme song, and it hooked me. Aside the talent — which is abound — Garret’s stage presence and the way he caressed the violin impressed me.

It was an old video on YouTube, but I felt the passion oozing from him.

Ever since, I kept an open mind. I am all ears for anything strings.

And this song is all about strings. But I still doubted the blending of genres. Why would anyone do that?

I later realized that it could be done, and done right.

When I first heard about Karthick Iyer’s music, I was’t sure. A fusion of Western and Carnatic? Is it worth it?

But I didn’t want to judge too soon — that never works.

I took a deep breath — and listen to the song.

Hmm. Not too great…

And again.

Ok, maybe…

And yet again.

What the — ?

I listened to another song of Karthick’s and I liked that. Now I had to figure: did I like just that song, or Karthick’s style in general?

Loop. Because I had to decode this.

To strip to the details —

The song is a blend of English and Tamil lyrics. When there’s no lyrics, there’s the Carnatic touch. Which not everyone would appreciate. As someone who’s learnt classical singing, I see the beauty of Swaras in a song, but people might consider it noise.

But that’s negligible, for two reasons.

One, Karthick’s voice is so deep and clear when he touches those notes, that it’s so good to hear.

The second, the instruments are awesome.

I raised the volume and closed my eyes, trying to drown the voice and focus on the instruments. The transition from western to classical instruments is so smooth, you can’t help but appreciate it. Particularly shifting from the Mirudangam to the guitars three minutes into the song — artful.

It’s the kind of music you’d expect on a long drive, when all you see in front of you is an endless stretch of highway tar.

Karthick’s voice drips Indianism, and he hasn’t tried to mask it. His vocals are clear and deliberate. His English pronunciation though, is a bit unheard of — perhaps an influence of his visits overseas.

The tune made me wonder. English lyrics in Carnatic tune? Haven’t heard much like it, nonetheless, it’s powerful in certain areas. Definitely serves the purpose.

I slept on it, and a couple of days later, I caught myself unconsciously humming this song.

That’s when I realized: I’ve heard enough to look forward to the rest of the album. I’m curious to see what Karthick’s team is capable of. The album, titled IndoSoul, launches on the 13th of June in Chennai, India.

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