1 Mocaine – The Birth of Billy Munro NEW DELHI ROCK ARTIST Mocaine aka Amrit Mohan delivers a punchy and in-your-face 11-track debut album titled The Birth of Billy Munro. The record includes feisty guitars, pulsating drums, riffs galore, booming basslines, Mocaine’s steely vocals as well as sketches. The concept LP follows the story of one Billy Munro who is found wandering across the southern states of the U.S. as he deals with the death of his wife. — DAVID BRITTO
9 Lifafa – Superpower 2020
IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN you’re going to hear an artist say “Special thanks to the BJP for the great song titles.” But that’s just what producer-singer Lifafa aka Suryakant Sawhney did for Superpower 2020, which presumably arrived late but not too late. Punning on the ‘India Shining’ campaigns and the lofty dreams of development and global standing that the country’s lawmakers often promise, Lifafa addresses a jarring present. “Tere desh mein to/Pyaar gunah hai,” (In your country/love is a crime) he sings in his distinctly breezy cadence on “Wahin Ka Wahin,” possibly one of the most spirited protest songs addressing the politically awakened youth of the country. Lifafa still has that warbled, misty and endearing element to his production but he stretches his limits as well, like on “Acche Din” and “Bewafa Hai Ghadi.” Then of course, there’s club-friendly cuts like “Mann Ki Baat,” a rehash of “Irradon” featuring D80 and the creepily saccharine “Laash.” All in all, Lifafa burdens himself with the emotions of the country and survives just because of his sonic pastiche and lyrical wit. — ANURAG TAGAT
8 Mali – Caution to the Wind
CHENNAI-BRED SINGER-SONGWRITER Maalavika Manoj aka Mali‘s debut full-length eight-track album titled Caution to the Wind is her homage to synth-pop. There’s a variety of soundscapes all through the album that are unveiled track by track. As for the songwriting and lyricism, Mali is at her artistic best capturing moments of serenity, happiness and melancholia perfectly. Lyrically, the musician sings about longing, struggle and nostalgia while also including moments of dark intensity and uplifting saccharinity. — D.B.
7 Arogya – Genesis
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