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Delhi Producer Rafoo Shines On Dark New Single

Jan 18, 02:22pm

‘Anthropocene’ is brooding and groove-filled in the most entertaining of ways

Delhi singer-songwriter and producer Rafoo does a lot of good things on this new single ‘Anthropocene’, but perhaps the coolest thing about it is the evocative combination of sounds that it achieves. Too often have we had songs with strong feelings, thoughts or statements that are far too on the nose musically; anger is forceful, sorrow is melodramatic, and joy is too saccharine. Rafoo does an excellent job of giving her sound an understated but sort of unsettling vibe here, and that pays off big time. ‘Anthropocene’ gets the atmosphere just right and is supported by some fantastic guest performances.

It’s fair to say to that the instrumental and sonic choices are what really makes the song. Melodically, it’s piano driven with some wonderful, shuffling drumming from Shantanu Sudharshan. Stylistically, it does have roots in trip-hop and psychedelia with its dub-like echoes and sparse arrangement. Most support here is provided by strings and the pianos, and Rafoo’s voice comfortably sits on top of it. She never lets her volume or intensity waver over the track’s four minutes; her delivery is, again, a bit ominous but never overblown or too quiet. That’s a good middle ground to occupy in this case; her biting lyrics about societal ruin and male toxicity and all things modern and destructive have a great musical backdrop. To reiterate, it wouldn’t particularly work without all its moving parts. The drumming brings a whole new dimension, the strings are not grand but sweeping enough, the piano is actually rather simple but impactful and there’s a sweet bassline under all of it from Harleen Singh of Re:Voyage. ‘Anthropocene’ doesn’t really whack you over the head with how forceful or scathing or morbid (or whatever your favourite adjective is) it is. It doesn’t particularly progress or go anywhere or explode in a burst of energy, but what it does manage to do is give you an oddly gratifying but nervous feeling that stays with you for longer. That’s the mark of a good song.

 

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