Suanshu Khurana lists the tracks she played on loop this year
Ek Ghadi (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,D Day) : This Rekha Bharadwaj ditty worked in more ways than one. Niranjan Iyengar’s stunning poetry had the qualities of a classic,and when paired with the harmonic resonance of a tanpura,it stirred up the pain of a lost age for us. It fulfilled a more difficult to achieve covets it had soz,and the ghazal nostalgia we’ve been craving for years.
Mera Murshid Khele Holi (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,
D Day): The harmonium prelude and claps paired with Javed Ali’s voice in this qawwali announced what was to come a stand out track. Based on raag Desh with touches of Adaana,the emotionally charged song with alaaps and refrains woven with the undercurrent of the tabla came with a hypnotic vocal cadenza and orchestral webs. As things reached a crescendo at the end of first six minutes,one had been through trance and was left in it.
Manmarziyaan (Amit Trivedi,Lootera): Shilpa Rao’s soft melody makes it to our top five with its playful yet heady concoction. While Trivedi probed this melody with soft synth strains and drums,Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics reminded us of those old world,faintly layered nuances in poetry the ones with longing laced with irony. A heady track.
Balam Pichkaari (Pritam,Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani): Sung by Vishal Dadlani and Shalmali Kholgale,this one can easily be called the dance track of the year. While the combination of dholaks,guitar,harmonium and trumpets had the youth bonding over it on dance floors,it was the song’s rakish folk energy that made it highly addictive.
Tum Hi Ho (Mithoon,Aashiqui 2): The moment that soft piano prelude entered our rooms,we knew about the enslavement it was bringing along. The song became a chart topper,and Arijit Singh,its singer,a household name. There is a certain aqueous quality to the number that deftly illuminates the romance of it. The song was soulful and dribbled with a certain haunting quality,which made it a favourite among the lovesick souls.
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Laal Ishq (Sanjay Leela Bhansali,Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela): A devotional love song,with the Bhansali stamp all over it the sweeping orchestra,the semi-classical flourishes (this one largely based on raag Yaman) and more importantly,the singer’s artistry as its primary strength,Laal Ishq emanates the kind of purity that today’s songs don’t have anymore. Arijit Singh surrenders his gifted vocals to a sort of Sufi ecstasy,characterised more prominently in the song’s meditative chorus and
Dil ki toh Lag Gayi (Mikey McCleary,Nautanki Saala): The arrangement,glowing with the sounds of acoustic instruments led by a sublime melodica,is a top-notch sound production. Saba Azad sings it as if drunk her rakish,sultry voice acting as a great foil to the light,Mediterranean vibe of the song. Mikey McCleary makes an excellent debut in his maiden stint as a full-fledged composer.
Sapna Re Sapna (Vishal Bhardwaj,Ek Thi Daayan): Not your straight-jacketed lullaby but one that you can instantly associate with the dark,fabled universe of Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar. Child artiste Padmanabh Gaikwad’s voice is all heart and innocence,and the lyrics: Bhure bhure baadalon ke bhaloon,loriya sunaye la ra la ru,invoke vivid imagery.
Murabba (Amit Trivedi,Bombay Talkies): Kavita Seth’s voice acts like a calming force,as do Amit Trivedi’s dreamy backing vocals in this soulful composition from Bombay Talkies. The addictive arrangement,the wonderfully comforting synthesiser layers and the inventive use of string instruments,double the effect of this philosophical song that brings murabba to life.
Ghum Huye (Bramfatura,David): More indie than Bollywood,more sound than voice,this song written and composed by musician duo Bramfatura and sung by indie rocker Siddharth Basrur is the trippiest film song this year,much more than Go Goa Gone tracks. It was set to great visuals in the Bejoy Nambiar film,and the moody electronica arrangement eventually grew on you.