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Thank You 2022

Dec 31, 03:32pm

Indian indie is well and truly back!

Don’t let the tagline fool you. Indian indie did an incredible job of sustaining itself during lockdown. There was no money to go around, but musicians kept going and made great music nevertheless. 2022, however, was truly the year when the scene started to make moves back towards people and engaging with them. You can decide about the artistic side of things, but it’s indisputable that we got to be around creative people a lot more and go back to a time when ‘experience’ was a shared thing, not just one had in one’s room with no hope in sight (in part). So, let’s thank 2022 with some things that happened this year, music-wise.

Great Albums/EPs

This year had great albums from a bunch of genres, which is more than notable. We’ve had ‘eras’ in a sense in our scene. There was the rock era of the 2010s, the singer-songwriter era for the following years, then hip-hop. But now, it’s more varied than ever and therefore more interesting than ever. DIVINE dropped a great album. Langur Lucid made a great vaporwave/hyperpop/indie album. Shipperman (Sunneith Revankar) put out the EP of the year. Green Park from Delhi put out an indie EP to rival any indie rock release (and beat it). Dokodoko ended up with perhaps the most cohesive release as a full listening experience. SOHM did a great job with singer-songwriter material, Curtain Blue made a great electronic EP, Pasha Bhai redefined rap, Bloodywood did possibly the album of the year… the list goes on and on. Absolutely check all these artists out, because every time you think you’ve found something new and fresh, there will always be something newer and fresher.

Great Songs

This is far too much to list (obviously), but we had some incredible singles. You could say this about any previous year, but 2022 was more so. Want a stadium singalong? Mali has it with ‘Ashes’. A meditative trip? Gooth, ‘Her Song’. High-concept? Sagar Kapoor, ‘Alvida’. Thirst Of Faust brought some metal, Serpents Of Pakhangba blew our minds… it’s literally too much to name. We did a playlist series called Liked By RSJ where we picked songs we loved through the year, and we have enough material to make ten more. This very paragraph was a thousand words long, but it would be too big a read. So we suggest looking through every single release this year and finding what you like. It is a statistical impossibility that you will fail in the endeavour.

Festivals And Live Gigs

Finally, finally, live experiences returned this year, and they did with a vengeance. November and December alone had enough festivals to fill a year’s calendar. NH7 was back. Echoes Of Earth returned. Magnetic Fields returned. Classic venues closed due to the pandemic, but a host of new venues took the baton and ran with it. Many comments on many lineup posts said “Why would you program acts I can see every week?” Well, this year, there were acts every week. Nothing to complain about, would you say?

International Acts

Here’s the beginning of a list: Post Malone, Offset, Venga Boys, Michael Learns To Rock, Four Tet, Madeon, Yussef Dayes, The Lumineers, Tiny Fingers, JID… name as many as you can (and there are many more) and you cannot fault the incredible job that event managers have done this year, knowing fully well that they are actively losing revenue.

 

So, the future. That’s 2023.

Lollapalooza is happening in 4 weekends’ time. And then there’s a whole eleven months after that.

Thank you, 2022. And from all of us here at RSJ, happy new year. Let 2023 be a good one.

We have a lot to offer you from tomorrow, so, obviously, we love all of you who read our work, found music because of you (and us) and supported the scene. See you soon! And by soon, in a matter of hours. Stay safe.

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