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Bangalore Artists Derek and The Cats And Frizzell D'Souza Keep It Classy On 'Diana'

Apr 05, 02:00pm

Ah yes, more proof that maintaining high standards results in a high-quality product

A couple years ago, we wrote a piece about how you could expect to see Bangalore-Mangalore singer-songwriter Frizzell D’Souza all over the scene in the very near future. In hindsight, that also should have included Derek And The Cats; since then, both been all over the playlist circuit, then the gig circuit, and then the festival circuit. But in the middle of all this, there is something worth noting: the two haven’t really released loads of music in this time period. Each year has brought maybe a single or two from either (2022 had an EP, 2023 had an album); superficially, this might look a bit slow considering both live acts can be caught almost once a month these days. But take one listen to their new single ‘Diana’ and the reason is obvious.

It’s quality control, of course! The main thing you can tell from how Frizzell and Derek And The Cats sound on this track is just how meticulously it is written and produced. You don’t even need to know that the tune is something of a throwback to pop of the 80s; a genre very influenced by both mainstream rock and mainstream jazz. In fact, ‘Diana’ represents one of those rare cases where genre and influences are perhaps more of a hindrance to the listener than things that helps provide context.

What you do need to know and will notice almost instantly is just how good everything sounds. Pianos are excellent, so are the guitars. The shuffle on the drums is very tasty indeed, and so is the bassline that dances on top of it. Vocals are relatively comfortable, seamless in the track’s context and perhaps deliberately sit slap-bang in the front of the mix. There’s no showboating from a single musician (even the solos are understated, which is a nod to the time) on ‘Diana’, and yet the final product is a joy to listen to. And the main reason is that everyone that’s part of this is focused purely on making every constituent part as fundamentally good as possible. Nice.

 

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