Best Releases of 2014
as selected by Naman Saraiya

Begum <BR>“Bagh”


This band would have to be my find of the year – and to say I discovered them just before the year closed out. Two of this trio are a part of Peter Cat Recording Co., another lovely band from New Delhi. Begum makes music that is poetic, moody and overall, groovy, more than anything else. I can’t wait to hear and see more of them.

♪♫ Listen: “Chinbien” + album stream

Begum on www, Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Donn Bhat <BR>“Passenger Revelator”

Donn Bhat
“Passenger Revelator”

Anant ‘Donn’ Bhat’s record, while didn’t seem like a cohesive whole, worked mostly because of great production and tunes that stuck, alongside some great vocal duties by the guest performers. What I’m more excited about is his upcoming EP, and the record got me thinking that way.

♪♫ Listen: “Stars Align” + album stream

Donn Bhat on SoundcloudYouTube, FacebookTwitter and beehype.

Frame/Frame <BR>“Hard Boiled Wonderland”

“Hard Boiled Wonderland”

I’m of the strong belief that of the current crop of electronic music producers in India, Nikhil Kaul is definitely among the top few. With his revised new live act, and these songs, Kaul is steadily reinstating his position in the ecosystem – with a detailed, well planned, two-song release in “Hard Boiled Wonderland”.

♪♫ Listen: “Hard Boiled Wonderland” + album stream

Frame/Frame on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook.

Ganesh Talkies <BR>“In Technicolor”

Ganesh Talkies
“In Technicolor”

While I couldn’t get myself to listen to the record as much early on, watching the quartet live on several occasions – getting better with each gig – made me a convert. While Miti Adhikari has totally nailed the production on this one, what’s interesting is to note the band easing into their sound, with grace and confidence.

♪♫ Listen: “Item Song

Ganesh Talkies on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.

Sandunes <BR>“Slybounce” EP

“Slybounce” EP

While I wouldn’t say there was a change in sound, Sandunes aka Sanaya Ardeshir definitely changed gears with this EP. Sandunes’ keys-laden sounds, and her nitty-gritty focused details make for enjoyable listening, and great music for sunny afternoons, and late nights/early mornings.

♪♫ Listen: “Slybounce” + album stream

Sandunes on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, TwitterFacebook and beehype.

Scribe <BR>“Hail Mogambo”

“Hail Mogambo”

A long time coming, Scribe delivered a package that was worth the wait, in every way. Riffs that tore through, vocals that made you wonder how vocalist Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy was doing it all, and a tribute to Bollywood – it was Scribe through and through, but only much sweeter. As hardcore as it gets, and as filmy too!

♪♫ Listen: “Cops Cops

Scribe on www, www, Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Skrat <BR>“The Queen”

“The Queen”

Still on rock n’ roll, these badasses from Chennai took things a step further with this record. On “The Queen”, Skrat crank up the amps, refine their songwriting, and deliver a banger, with a live act that holds even better – and takes the album listening experience to greater heights.

♪♫ Listen: “Stomp” + album stream

Skrat on www, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.

The Supersonics <BR>“Heads Up”

The Supersonics
“Heads Up”

A no-brainer really. If you’re into rock n’ roll, this was probably the record of the year. Great bluesy riffs, warm guitar tones and hooks that linger on – “Heads Up” was definitely one of the most intricate, and beautiful records of the year. While I’d recommend possibly every song on the record, the real gem is the closer, the eponymously titled “Heads Up”.

♪♫ Listen: “Into The Dark” + album stream

The Supersonics on www, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Your Chin <BR>“Scatter Nature” EP

Your Chin
“Scatter Nature” EP

If on the eponymous EP, singer-composer Raxit Tewari was trying to get into your mind. “Scatter Nature” helped him get in and cement the position inside. If last year and gaining popularity was anything to go by, Tewari is going to take 2015 by storm, with releases lined up for both Your Chin and his band, Sky Rabbit.

♪♫ Listen: “Run Along Little One” + album stream

Your Chin on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter and beehype.

The F16s <BR>“Nobody’s Gonna Wait” EP

The F16s
“Nobody’s Gonna Wait” EP

(A last minute hat-tip)

Once again, Chennai. The indie rockers from down south made a big impact with their live shows, and new songs this year. While the EP is pretty solid on its own, it often felt that they’re holding something back, and we can probably expect it to explode on the full length record, which should be out this year.

♪♫ Listen on Bandcamp

The F16s on Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Bandcamp.