Songs: Aalayal Thara Venam, Kaanthaa, Kari

Artist: Masala Coffee

Genre(s): Indian folk, Rock, Pop

Just two odd years strong, Masala Coffee’s rise to the top of the independent scene has been nothing short of phenomenal. Describing their sound as a unique blend of Indian folk, pop and rock, their songs have hit people as a breeze of fresh air in the cacophony of mainstream film music.

Juggling between scoring for films, gigs and studio recordings, the band has been busy keeping their sound alive. Whatever the style may be, their songs seem to have a distinct edge, carrying with them a sort of divine serenity. Take for instance in Aalayal Thara Venam, the intro just feels so mystic and beautiful, and when the finger picking begins and a carefree folkish chant joins in, you know this is exactly what can be done when two worlds clash. With earthy percussions and mellifluous violin interludes, the song manages to sound distinctly Malayalam as well.

In an another hit Kaanthaa, the off-beat Kazoo lures us into something that is hearty and almost spiritual-sounding. And the drive to stand out is again noticeable from the spirited ‘Kaanthaa’ chants to the almost tongue-in-cheek folk vocals. The Esraj steals the show here, graceful and smooth as honey. The song doesn’t ever lose steam, with even the outro being one to look out for, with its classic rock approach.

In their most recent release Kari, the band has taken on a heavy metal sound, and combined with their signature vocal style, the result is a restless brew of passion and rage. This one is pretty high on energy and is sure to keep the metalheads satisfied, with the ‘aram papa papa’ bit getting glued to your minds after the song ends.

Their covers of popular Tamil songs Snehithane and Munbe Vaa have garnered widespread attention as well, lending to them almost a new soul. It’s no doubt that Masala Coffee are already growing among the masses, and here’s wishing them to continue to deliver their unique brand of music.