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Surely Y'all Have Put Huyana's EP 'Anxious Attachment' On Your Playlists By Now, Right?

8.5

album Reviews Sep 14, 07:16pm

This smooth set of tracks is the absolute textbook definition of ‘for the times’

Huyana is Varshita Ramesh out of Bangalore. Her quite wonderful new EP is emblematic of the sound of Bangalore in a sense; a particular set of circumstances that makes the city's independent output sound explicitly ‘of the place’ and ‘of the time’. This results in quality music more often than not; ‘Anxious Attraction’ is a great example.

Let’s do sonics first. The four songs here are immaculately produced and recorded. Every element in the mix has a warm, clean and cozy sound that fits its style like a glove. You will be treated to delectable bass, guitars and keys that sound oh-so full, and drums that leave plenty of room to breathe. This instrumental base is perfect for Huyana’s vocals, which live squarely in the modern R&B space; they carry enough weight to make hooks and singalongs memorable while staying light enough to play around with melodies. You can tell that Huyana is enjoying herself on every song, and as well as they are written, there’s an element of freedom that commands attention. After all, it’s very true to form (go listen to Alicia Keys or Beyonce live for some modern context). The combination of all these parts is an enjoyable whole.

Each song on this EP has a surprisingly specific vibe. ‘Can’t Fall/Won’t Fall’ is a cutesy groover with some awesome vocals (layers and all) and a candidate for the most sing-able chorus of the year. There’s also a great arrangement with some sax and deceptively precise performances from all musicians involved. ‘If Only’ has elements of the soul-funk revival that artists like Silk Sonic and Tom Misch brought into the alternative pop mainstream; it still sounds fresh in 2023, and the song makes the excellent decision of using scientifically tasty chords.

 

 

‘Breezy’ is a 6/8 ballad that sounds almost literally like a blues-ier version of Tennessee Whiskey, from the structure to the overall vibe to the use of an organ, but who’s complaining (if you’re going to be derivative, derive from the best)? Things conclude with ‘Crush’, the biggest sounding track on display; horns, big groove, scatting, swing!? This is one of those songs that has something for everyone and probably goes really hard live.

So yes, this is a strong and well-realized collection of songs, each of which brings something interesting to your ears. But it’s also a bit unique in its execution. It’s sort of a soul EP as far as the vocals and writing are concerned, but it’s mixed like a rock EP, it’s played like a modern funk-jazz pop EP, and it wears the light subject matter of straight-up indie music from the 2000s. And that is where the Bangalore element enters the conversation, because that is what the city has experienced musically over the last decade. It was listening to Linkin Park for a while, then metal, then indie rock, then Alt-J, then funk, then neo-soul, then rap… Perhaps it’s easier to explain in the language Bangalore sometimes uses.

Bro see ok, this is one peace-ing-out scene. There’s some peaceful stuff, but bro if you actually listen, the instruments are mad actually! Huyana isn’t even belting in her voice but it sounds damn chill though, it’s the perfect stuff to play while just sitting in the traffic and waiting for the next signal bro. Actually just walk home, no? It’s damn chill once you just send and just sit off. If you’re into that whole ______ or ______ scene (it’s mad no?), bro this is easily for you to listen. Definitely have to see what this sounds like live after we get smashed bro, if we can get cabs and all. Bro you like ___ and all, right? Yeeahh dude this is one crazy vibe also.

In essence, ‘Anxious Attachment’ has a ton of personality and variety while being really well made, so you should have a listen. Maybe two. You’d have saved it by then anyway.

 

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