• Tue, Apr 23, 2024

Kalpana Takes A Bleak Look Back At The Pandemic On Her Debut Single

May 25, 12:44pm

‘Helpline’ is a pretty sad but beautiful snapshot of the last few years

Kalpana’s a singer-songwriter from Hyderabad and this is her debut! It’s always nice to hear new stuff coming out of an indie scene that is slowly finding its footing after being basically bankrupted for a couple years. This here ‘Helpline’ is a quite a melancholy and wistful look back at precisely those years, but it’s not necessarily a masochistic endeavour. A lot of us are in move-on mode; we want to forget what just happened lest we get stuck in the mire of all the terrible memories we’re bottling up. But hey, hindsight is important and more importantly, so is recognition.

The song is in the vein of the sad, cinematic pop music we’ve been seeing from a bunch of singer-songwriters in the mainstream these days; lush, ornamental production with some pretty heartbreaking vocal decisions. The Eilishes, del Reys and Bridgers’ of the world have brought this particularly intensely emotional presentation to the zeitgeist, and Kalpana’s performance here is pretty awesome. There’s some ambient sound and washy string-adjacent stuff that wouldn’t be out of place in some kind of IDM tune, there’s some pretty intricate guitar layering and a skittery, electronic groove. ‘Helpline’ is four and a half minutes long but feels like it’s half that, primarily due to its subject matter and some solid writing. If you’re shutting some stuff out and haven’t given yourself the time to vulnerable lately, this song might be the right one to do it. And if not, it’s a lush and vibrant indie tune. What’s not to like?


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