Such is the measure of the eyebrows they’ve raised. Sridhar/Thayil aren’t the lot who would allow for a passive head bobbing, finger tapping, ear wiggling while sipping-on-chai-and-driving-like-a-boss-on-your-way-to-work listening, don’t even dare. With an intelligent use of performance poetry, and a breathtaking Suman Sridhar’s rendition of words into song, Sridhar/Thayil manages to grab the viewer’s heart in its fist and pull it out like a fisherman’s worthy catch: they are as grateful to the audience as we are to them.
‘City of Sisters’, and ‘The Drowning Song’function as a presage for what is to come, and we can hardly wait. Suman Sridhar’s voice is reminiscent of an Amy Winehouse pulling a Billie Holiday on the gaping and vulnerable, and proves its versatility inasmuch as it easily adapts to the various textures and sounds Sridhar/Thayil experiment with (one refers to the Jagraata/Bhajan format pregnant with chants and groans in Punk Bhajan among others). Sridhar/Thayil was an incidental offshoot for Jeet Thayil, keeping in mind his many literary and musical endeavors. Although after the Sridhar component joined the project, this duo has managed to convey their style, or many styles, one can’t say with certainty. They sustain a novel ethic, and are fortunately one of the few acts that understand how performance should be inherently theatrical, on stage and off, as it translates into the album with aplomb.
The initial melodic mood of ‘Here In The Morning’ hints at Sridhar’s delicate handling of the listener’s interest, and only then are we scrupulously led to Thayil’s swearing ‘by the beauty of your naked armpit’ as we progress into the album. All things considered, the indie scene presently is fairly nascent and there is much to be seen in the coming years, STD would hopefully serve itself as the spark that leads to the much anticipated fire. Thank God for Sridhar/Thayil.
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