• Mon, Dec 11, 2023

Vishnu Varma Does 2000s Rock With Some Taste

Apr 23, 04:46pm

His single ‘In The Dark’ somehow brings early-century indie rock back without being obnoxious

To be completely fair, without its good instrumentation, smart sonic decisions and production, the new single from Kochi composer-vocalist Vishnu Varma (he’s made forays into writing for film and TV and commercial stuff too, so this is no spring chicken) would have been the kind of pabulum we loved on VH1 back in the day and (soon after) forgot about as quickly as we could. But that’s what is actually quite noteworthy about ‘In The Dark’; Vishnu takes that sound and wrings a strong song out of it anyway. This is partly due to the sonic and songwriting decisions mentioned earlier and the fact that he just jumps into writing an indie-rock feel-good tune without being pretentious. There are no second thoughts here and the track is saved because of it.

The production is clean and quite dynamic, a far cry from the overblown and plastic sound that characterized the music ‘In The Dark’ pulls from. Vishnu’s voice is clear and well balanced, the drums are meaty and super punchy, and the bass is super loud and up front in the mix (more people should do this where it fits, having that growling low-end be so prominent adds a hell of a lot to the song). The ‘emotional’ guitars are par for the course, but they’re needed for that good old nostalgia (this track does that too). Songwriting-wise, the second half of the song has some nice chords and goes into a much less traditional, spacey bridge; this is a great idea. Some great drums, a good buildups and a rather sudden shift into the driving last chorus all do the job of saving the track from being toothless. The fact that Vishnu makes ‘In The Dark’ accessible to people who remember the previous era of indie rock fondly (bless ‘em) and those who just want a well-produced and bright song is a job well done.


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