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Sagar Kapoor Goes Delightfully High-Concept On 'Alvida'

Nov 13, 12:10pm

A longform multi-genre tune inspired by the theater stage? Now we’re talking.

Indian indie has found its groove over the years, and while that shows confidence, it’s fair to say that this groove is being worn down with time. One can safely say there are a set of buckets into which most music being made in the independent space falls. You have rock songs. You have faux-Bollywood indie, Indian pop tropes written for movies that don’t exist. You have hip-hop, which was innovative and downright trailblazing when it kicked off but is settling into its own patterns. You have metal, which is still churning out quality, albeit much more rarely than before. And then you have those at the front of the indie space, who you see at festivals and basically have a set standard below which they will never drop (guaranteed hits). Outside this is a lot of interesting, new music that tries something different; here lives Mumbai-based Sagar Kapoor’s single ‘Alvida’.

This deserves a listen for its premise alone. It’s three ‘movements’ with a strong narrative backed by full-on musical theater instrumentation. This is already a win because it doesn’t sound like the last four playlists a DSP threw at you, but the bonus is that it’s executed well. Sagar isn’t just doing this to sound different; he actually commits. While the subject matter is dark (chronicling a character hurtling towards death isn’t sunshine and rainbows), the production and sonic choices are bright and (obviously) dramatic. The grandness of the strings and horns rub shoulders with a simple drum pattern, think bit of Hamilton or even Rob Cantor (if you know, you know). There’s so much more to dive into, though. There’s some jazzy piano and some accordion; a bunch of percussion helps bring a fun-house vibe to the table (especially when the track kicks off). Sagar’s vocals are relatively simple and clear. He chooses to spend his embellishment point on his arrangements instead, and that’s what pushes ‘Alvida’ away from the norm. The middle of the tune is a sweeping orchestral interlude with some marching band drums, because that’s awesome. The last third devolves a bit more into an epic ending that has a positive, soaring bent to it (which is interesting considering it’s the character literally leaving this world). Sagar and co. do something inventive, and a damn good job of it to boot. Fire it up on your headphones asap.

 

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