Singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad’s album In Tokens and Charms popped up on my iTunes Store front page on a cold January morning. I had no idea who this artist was but the cover art got me staring at it for a few minutes. So I went ahead and clicked the pre-listening button. The first thing that struck me was the clarity of his voice. It was unmistakably Indian but not quite Indian. This is what I call the NRI voice, but it also sounds like one from another era. It evokes visions of a bygone time, the world seen through one of those Instagram filters. This imaginary past is something we extrapolate from our present and piece together from the images that are stuck in our head.
The minimal use of acoustic guitars, cello, organ and broomstick drumsticks all adds to this charm. Even the tone of electric guitar chosen is a warm one so as to fit to the theme of the album.
Prateek Kuhad also has a way with the words; his phrasing is excellent and seems very comfortable with the language. His songs mostly deal with love and those little things people in love cherish. Simple, lyrical and memorable, his songs tick all the check boxes.
The whole album can be streamed on Soundcloud (embedded below). And if you like what you hear (which I am sure you will), you can buy the album here.
My picks from the album: Go, Fire, Oh Love
File it next to: Nischay Parekh, Tajdar Junaid, Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine
Video of Oh Love