Indiva – Music Review (Pop fusion album)

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Indiva is a fusion band comprised of featuring Hamsika Iyer, Vivienne Pocha, Merlyn DSouza and Shruti Bhave. The band came out with their debut album titled Indiva a couple of weeks back. You can buy the album here. And below is what we think of the album.

Built on a lounge-ish template with a mix of Vedic chants and English lyrics, the high point of Colors is the Carnatic violin by Shruti Bhave – her sparring with Merlyn DSouza on keys is particularly fab. Indiva’s ode to the womankind, Suno features some excellent singing by Hamsika Iyer but the pop-based arrangement fails to impress beyond a point. Amaar Maa captures all the beauty of Bengali folk even as it is seamlessly fused with variegated musical elements from around the world. Add to that Hamsika Iyer’s effortless handling of the nuanced rendition; this is one of the picks of the album. Mannidhu takes us to another part of the country, using a Kannada folk base and mixing it with African folk. Interesting arrangement once again, employing a good combination of horns (Rhys Sebastian DSouza) and strings.

Engaya Gaw too features a lot of strings and horns, but here they attempt to create a Caribbean flavor and quite succeed in doing it too. Except that the arrangement ends up sounding very regular, but for Bhave’s violin bits. The Tamil part of Uyire sounds very filmy, both lyrics-wise and tune-wise, but that is not to say the song isn’t engaging. Lovely semiclassical piece (shades of Abheri/Bhimpalas raga, I think) once again rendered well by Hamsika Iyer and Vivienne, supported brilliantly by Bhave and DSouza on the violin and keys respectively. The other filmy song Nazrein isn’t as engaging though, bogged down by a rather middling tune and an arrangement riddled with heard-before elements. Helelele’s feel good arrangement (always a joy to hear the banjo!) and tune complement the motivational lyrics (by Merlyn) well, as does the use of kids for chorus. Best of the album is the (mostly) instrumental piece called Mela, a captivating mix of Spanish guitars ( Aamir John Heddad) and keeravani raga-based violin playing by Shruti Bhave with some jazz bits thrown in by Merlyn DSouza on keyboard.

A promising debut by Indiva with their self-titled album.

Top Recos: Mela, Amaar Maa, Uyire, Mannidhu

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