• Sun, Apr 5, 2020
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Harry D Souza Puts You In A Contemplative Mood On New Single

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album Reviews Feb 14, 04:59pm

‘Are You Alive’ is the kind of song that you will stare out into nothingness to
 Photo Courtesy: Harry D'Souza

Production is an often overlooked part of studio-made music; even though the common listener doesn’t need to care about the intricacies of the sonic palate of a song, it is what lifts a simple song into something more. This is not totally the case with Mumbai’s Harry D’Souza, but it deserves mentioning. His new single ‘Are You Alive’ is slow, contemplative and relaxed. But the song’s production makes it much, much more.

The track is produced by Vishal G. Singh, the mad genius behind Amogh Symphony and Serpents Of Pakhangba; while ‘Are You Alive’ couldn’t sound more different from those two things, he gives the song a body and nuance that elevates it completely. The song is at its core a bittersweet vocal melody with a guitar to provide the melodic skeleton, but the other instrumentation transforms that sentiment into one of longing and hoping against hope. Vishal uses a lot of reverb on most of the elements to great effect. The drums that enter the song after the intro are absolutely delightful; big, roomy and raw, they play off the more muted parts of the track really well. The bass is also a bit menacing but it works here. It’s low, rumbling, and provides the body the track would otherwise lack. There is also an added lead guitar that subtly drives the track towards its conclusion. All this contributes to a feeling of losing oneself and thinking about stuff that the song would never have had otherwise.

 

 

The track itself has some interesting facets to it. Harry actually has a pretty cool voice; it is expressive but there’s a strident and strident quality to it. There’s something about his delivery and voice here that sounds inexplicably like Ozzy Osbourne on Down To Earth. He has the same earnest quality and it makes ‘Are You Alive’ sound sincere, which is not the easiest thing to do. The little acoustic guitar bridge that seems to end into nothing but turns into the first real ‘chorus’ of the song is a great moment; one where the drums and bass enter from nothing and fill your ears completely. The track also has quite a bit of replay value because of its general simplicity and warmth, so it’s perfect for looking out at something and searching from anything metaphorical to think about.

‘Are You Alive’ is a nice marriage of good songwriting and good production, and it bodes well for him that he can write material that has the potential to be lifted by the addition of a soundscape or some extra layers of instrumentation. It’s the sign of an artist that can write and create but still hasn’t reached anywhere near the limit of their faculty. That’s a good sign.

 

 

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