Kumbalangi Nights – Music Review (Malayalam Soundtrack)

Songs and musician credits at the end.

I watched the movie over the weekend, so an obligatory spoiler alert for any contextual tidbit I might have thrown in.

Cherathukal hits you as the opening credits of Kumbalangi Nights roll down, and is in many ways the theme song of the movie itself. The incredibly soulful piece is marked by a certain tranquillity; something that can be said of the movie as well, in large part. Composer Sushin Shyam’s fine inclusions in the song’s backdrop add to that placidness – the plucked strings played by the man himself, and the bowed ones by Danny John. Sithara Krishnakumar is a singer who has always revelled in folk-flavoured songs – while this song does not explore her skills on that front the way some of those earlier songs have, the singer takes to this subdued rendition with aplomb. Particularly loved the stress she gives some of lyricist Anwar Alis words to accentuate that feeling of yearning. Another of the song’s highlights is the heart-warming humming refrain where the chorus kicks in, before the interlude, that is likely to stay with you for a long time after the movie is done, as it makes its reappearance in some of its most poignant moments. Even in this song, it makes a second entry as Sithara bows out – a sublime juxtaposition of the humming, the violin/viola cues from the interlude and a surprise couplet delivered by Sushin –  closing the song on a high it deserves. One of the many great things about the soundtrack is how well the songs sit with the movie’s narrative. Uyiril Thodum, for instance, takes off in a flutter of joy and excitement just as the young romance blooms between the lead pair Baby and Bobby, and is employed in tandem with how the relation progresses in the film – while there is a sense of familiarity about the song at times, the quality of the composition more than makes up for it.  Also written by Anwar Ali, this one is delivered to a tee by the wonderful Anne Amie and Sooraj Santhosh.

While Uyiril Thodum goes the sprightly route, the movie’s other romantic arc, between Nylah and the silent man Bonny, gets a much more tender, intimate piece aptly titled Silent Cat. Written by Sushin’s TDT compatriot Nezer Ahemed and sung by the incredibly sultry-sounding Germany-based Kezia Quental aka K.ZIA, the song charms you as much for the efforts of these two as it does for the minimal arrangement that closes with a short (how I wish it were longer) but fab solo on the harmonica by Dr. Harikumar G. Nezer also writes Don’t Fall whose intense retro synth-pop setting is a marked departure from the album’s soundscape, but carries a very situational relevance. Even without that context, the song makes for quite an enjoyable hearing, nevertheless. Akhil Unnikrishnan (goes by the moniker KEL too, it would seem) is ace with his delivery. The only quibble is the duration of the song, even though I understand that it doesn’t need to be any longer on screen. Composer himself gets behind the mic for Ezhuthakkadha, a song that teems with hopes of a new beginning, appearing in the movie at a point when things are finally turning around in the Saji household. We have heard that rhythmic guitar framework being employed to successfully generate a feeling of optimism, in the past, here too it is as effective; aided on its way by the whistles and harmonica phrases delivered by Sushin – it is only Rithu Vysakh’s violins that strike the odd melancholic note. Also deserving credit are the beautifully written words by Vinayak Sasikumar.

Having tracked Sushin Shyam’s film career since his playback debut, through his composing debut, it’s been a joy to see him gradually increase his presence in the industry to bigger and better movies – and in Kumbalangi Nights he has delivered his best soundtrack yet. Do yourself a favour and watch the movie if you haven’t – for the brilliance of the movie itself first and foremost, but also to see the songs receive a fitting onscreen portrayal.

Music Aloud Rating: 4/5

Top Recos: All of them!

Musician Credits


Singers- Sithara Krishnakumar, Sushin Shyam

Lyrics – Anwar Ali

Viola/Violin- Danny John

Guitars/Ukelele – Sushin Shyam

Vocals Recorded at NHQ,Cochin

Mastered by Abin Paul


Uyiril Thodum

Singers – Sooraj Santhosh, Anne Amie

Lyrics – Anwar Ali

Acoustic Guitars- Sunil Silvester

Backing Vocals – Sushin Shyam, Uthara krishnan

One-man String quartet performed by Rithu Vysakh

Strings recorded and mixed by Varkey at Varkey’s station

Song Recorded by Sai Prakash at My studio,Cochin

Song Mixed – Abin Paul

Song Mastered – Steve Smart ( 301 STUDIOS, AUSTRALIA )


Ezhutha Kadha Pol

Singer – Sushin Shyam

Lyrics – Vinayak Sasikumar

Solo Violin and Strings performed by Rithu Vysakh

Harmonica – Sushin Shyam

Recorded and mixed at Varkey’s Station

Vocal Recorded at Vivek Thomas Prodcutions

Mastered by Abin paul


Silent Cat

Singer – K.ZIA

Lyrics – Nezer Ahemed

Guitars – Sushin Shyam

Harmonica – Dr.Harikumar.G

Vocals Recorded at Traumlab, Berlin

Mastered by – Abin Paul


Don’t Fall

Composed and Produced – Sushin Shyam

Singer – Akhil unnikrishnan (KEL)

Lyrics – Nezer Ahemed

Mastered by Abin paul




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