Polka Picks: Playlist Of The Week
By: Shruti Sunderraman on Apr 24th, 2015

Continuing with summer-themed songs, this week's Polka Playlist is meant to uplift your mood! A mix of ambient, folksy and powerful tunes contribute to the "uplifting" exercise. Take a pick...or all of them! 

1. A Ho A Hand by Famy

Anthemic sounds chorused by ricocheting chords greet you in A Ho A Hand. In fact, that’s how most of Famy’s music greets you. This West London-based Indie rock/pop quartet makes for a sprightly afternoon listen.

2. I Wanna Be Like You by Bear Lincoln (Cover)

Unless you were born post 2010, you’ve heard and broken expensive china dancing to King Louie’s I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book movie. (If you haven’t, please hide under a rock and do not resurface!). California-based band, Bear Lincoln clearly have, and pay their own tribute to the Monkey King’s foot tapping song with this cover. This is the only cover I’ve discovered that comes close to matching the infectious energy of the original. Oooh-bi-doooo!

3. Rain by Until We Last

It came as a huge surprise to discover a post-rock scene in India, let alone a brilliant representative in Bangalore-based band Until We Last! While their entire EP ‘Earthgazing’ is worth lending an ear (or two) to, this single, Rain, blew us away with its progression. The music is very Explosions in The Sky meets Chet Faker-esque.

4.Winds & Rockets by Snowshoe

A project by the guitarist, Rahul Nadkarni of Indian indie post-punk/electronica outfit Skyrabbit, Snowshoe produces some of the floatiest sounds I’ve heard lately. Kinda like a mixed tape of moody, ambient music with subtle undertones of technical brilliance, of which Winds & Rockets is a perfect example. Smooth as butter.

5. Gretel by Snarky Puppy with The Metropole Orkest

If you were at Johnny Walker-The Journey Festival in Bombay last year, you probably know what we mean by ‘HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!’ when we describe Snarky Puppy’s live act performed here. Now multiply that reaction by 10 and you’d still be short of words to describe this jaw-dropping collaboration with The Metropole Orkest for Gretel!

6. Salt by Mugison

It is amazing how a population of less than 0.4 million can produce mind-blowing musicians one after the other. Icelandic artist Mugison is one such produce. Salt begins with Mugison’s kid sister reciting the lyrics, if you want to call it that. Honestly, it feels more like poetry in motion. The haunting words with the even more haunting recital backed by Mugison’s intense score is sure to give you the chills. (Something you could do with, this summer!)

A Place To Stay by Over Tea And Cigarettes

Over Tea And Cigarettes is proof that the smallest of bands are capable of making the dreamiest music. A Place to Stay by this Kolkata-based outfit is a surreal specimen of the mellow, acoustic fabric they use to dress their music. Make way for the goosebumps, courtesy of Anik Nag, the vocalist. (Also check out some of their covers.)

8. Highway 37 by The Tinder Box

Spunky banjo rhythm, foot-thumping beats and the power of a full-fledged band, South Dakota-based 3-member outfit, The Tinder Box is honestly one of the most delightful bands I’ve had the fortune to stumble upon. Loyal to their roots, The Tinder Box produces folksy, bluegrass tunes that is sure to get you to wear your dancing shoes. Watch out for the Banjo solo in Highway 37.

9. Moodtapes - Sree Ragamo Thedunnu by Vivek Prabhakar on violin

Established with the idea of creating soft, subtly uplifting 2 minute (or less) takes on songs by independent artists, Moodtapes by KappaTV is a breath of fresh air in a world where talent is deliberately suppressed, let alone appreciated. This short, violin cover of the classic Malayalam song, Sree Ragamo Thedunnu by Vivek Prabhakar might just be what you need to turn a chaotic evening into a peaceful one.

10. Where Ends Meet by Jason Zac Band

Listen to it here

There are instrumental-centric bands and then there’s Jason Zac Band. Creating a virtuosic fusion of various genres, this band from Bangalore, headlined by the remarkably talented keyboardist, Jason Zachariah, churns out many-layered compositions. ‘Where Ends Meet’ is a superb model of these harmonic layers. The progression on the song is mind-blowing! Why don’t you give it a listen and decide for yourself?


Get your groove on this weekend with this playlist. If you want to add to this playlist, share in the comments below!

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Shruti Sunderraman
When she's not trying to satiate her itchy feet through travel journalism, she tries to rid the world of musical hunger. Her idea of an ideal Saturday night involves curling up with badass movies and a dog. She travels, she writes but mostly, she sleeps. A firm believer in the religion of cookies, she blogs at...   Read more
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