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10 Great Albums/EPs That Came Out In 2023

columns Dec 25, 06:20pm

List number one!

Contrary to the popular belief that one-minute shortform content would completely ruin attention spans and listening habits forever, Indian indie has resolutely stuck out its bottom lip and made EPs or albums all year anyway. And they've been good at it. So, let’s highlight 10 of them (in no particular order).

Purple Cassette – Thinking Ahead Of Time

Delhi band Purple Cassette’s feel-good EP is solid proof that if you write solid without trying too many things, you’ll come out the other side with a straightforward, possibly simple, but very listenable release.

 

Mocaine – The Story Of Jonah Stone

Mr. Amrit Mohan, on the other hand, goes completely all-out maximalist on his second album of a creative trilogy, telling a full-on story in what is essentially a grunge concept album with fleshed out characters. Works too!

 

Jenn Steeves – Sidelines

This is a cool little indie-folk album out of Goa; acoustic guitar, piano, relatable themes, the lot. The genre lends itself well to contemplative late-night listening, and this is no different.

 

chambalguy – yaqeen (raw/unplugged)

Sort of in the same vein but more autiobiographical, ‘yaqeen’ is Somanshu Agarwal telling his own life story as five ‘phases’. It’s a nice idea; it feels like stumbling onto a letter from someone to a friend or loved one. Intimate, personal, and sounds good.

 

Merak – Manic Mode

It should be obvious that Goan brother-sister duo Merak can basically do whatever they want at this point and a superb release will result. They did full-on indie rock on their first EP; this new one is singer-songwriter pop, modern neo-soul, and… reggae with some dub thrown in. And it’s somehow immensely enjoyable while not being an incoherent mess. Watch out for these two.

 

Huyana – Anxious Attachment

Varshita Ramesh from Bangalore has made quite the impression with her new EP, a highly contemporary and tasteful collection of pop songs. The sound is very modern, polished, and thought out. As we said in our review, surely all you have her music on your playlists by now, right?

 

Tarini – From These Cracks A Flower Grew

Chennai singer-songwriter Tarini has had a good 2023 with a few releases. Her debut EP is not particularly boundary-pushing, but it’s in with a shout for the best-written acoustic indie music you’ve found this year. One would suspect she’s going to be popping up at gigs and festivals relatively soon.

 

Dhruv Visvanath – Dancing In The Dark

Whenever Dhruv Visvanath puts out something, it usually ends up on a best-of list. We know he’s one of the best artists in the scene and has been for a while now; if he drops a pen or TV remote on the floor, it probably ends up somehow sounding musical and joyful. ‘Dancing In The Dark’, however has traditional instruments and six delightful songs.

 

Dreadhammer – SOVEREIGN

Kolkata band Dreadhammer has easily put out the best metal album of this year with ‘SOVEREIGN’, a bruising and unimaginably groovy clinic in modern and old-school thrash that does not have a single dip in quality over 40 heavy minutes. It’s top-shelf stuff. Music is, of course, not a competition and never should be; but if it was… these guys would make the podium.

 

Akash Vincent – Ember

This is an EP with an interesting premise; Akash takes the modern guitar-pop form and does fun things with it. Using some interesting guitar techniques and maybe even the odd classical influence to spice up simple acoustic songs is a fun spin on a tired format, and people should do stuff like this more often. ‘Ember’ proves that it works.

 

Enjoy listening, and see you all tomorrow!

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