Undoubtedly, this has been one of the best years for Indian music. There are more music shows on television. There are newer music festivals. And most importantly, there is a lot more quality music than ever before. Younger bands are starting to find their own unique voices. If this was wine we were talking about, we would say, it’s been a good year.
So here we are, drawing up a list of our favourite albums from this year – one album a day. Note that we do not say “best”, nor are we ranking or rating them. These are just that – our favourites, the ones that impressed us the most.
The Raghu Dixit Project – Jag Changa
This is one of the most recent releases on our list and we are still reeling from its brilliance. Raghu Dixit has, since his 2008 self-titled debut, grown to be one of the biggest rockstars in India – and from India. One of the very few homegrown bands to have a legit international touring schedule every year (Indian Ocean is the only other we can think of), this band wears its local influences proudly on its sleeves. (Or should we say the hems of the exquisite lungis the band members wear on stage?)
On Jag Changa, Raghu Dixit takes his trademark folk rock sound and amps it up further. The album opener, “Parasiva”, for instance is a huge, stomping track – almost “stadium folk” in nature, if we could call it that. “Yaadon Ki Kyari” is, as the name suggests, a nostalgia track crafted to tug at heartstrings. “Amma” is a paean to his mother, one that would not feel out of place at all in the soundtrack of a movie. In fact, that is a quality that permeates Jag Changa – that large, multi-layered, cinematic sound, filled with clap-along choruses and solid grooves.
Listen to: “Lokada Kaalaji”, “Kodagana Koli Nungittha”, “Parasiva”.