Monday, April 27, 2009

Nada Nada: No need for words

Since this blog has anyways mutated into something of a forum for art-related shout-outs both cryptic and verbose, and because the last time I posted something on the brave new Indian rock scene it yielded a sum total of no feverish replies at all, I thought I’d repeating the whole soul-scarring exercise with a song which most of you in the know would already have heard, maybe because you’re a critic for Rolling Stone, maybe because you’re just up-to-date with these things or maybe because, like me, you listen to 95 FM in the morning and have heard Sarthak asking you to listen to this number with the speakers turned up LOUD. The song, released last year by Avial, a band brave enough to opt for singing its rock numbers in Malayali, is called Nada Nada, which roughly translates into 'keep on walking'. The music is churning rock, something akin to Ten-era Pearl Jam, without being anywhere near as memorable. The lyrics are earthy and effective (I googled them later - they sound like a Naxalite folk song), but would obviously be lost on a non-Malayali audience. It doesn't really matter though. On vocals, Anandraj Benjamin Paul starts out impassioned and rousing, and ends up wild and lacerating. His singing is powerful enough to be able to convey the feeling behind the words, thus rendering the actual words redundant. For those who think this is no big deal, I'd like to bet you'd be hard-pressed to compile a list of ten songs in a language you know nothing about but which still managed to grab you at a pure emotional level. And for narrow-minded Ghazal-reared couplet-obsessed protesters, a line from a Neville Cardus essay - “…but perhaps they were only dead anyway”

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