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When it comes to composing music for a film that is not only unconventional but also close to its roots, who better than the very talented group, Indian Ocean? The indie-folk band was the obvious choice of director Neeraj Ghaywan for his internationally acclaimed film Masaan. Now, it’s not often that the band composes music for films but when they do, they are discreet. And, let’s just say we weren’t disappointed when we heard this album.

Without cramming the album with too many songs, Indian Ocean has kept it short and simple with just three tracks. Given the fact that the film is set in Benaras, the musical treatment is mainly based on the folk-classical genre – a forte of Indian Ocean.

The album takes off with Tu kisi rail si, a romantic song sung by Swanad Kirkire. Different from his earlier renditions, Kirkire goes full throttle for this track and succeeds in bringing an earthy flavour to the melody. The musical arrangement is solely based on the guitar strums that differ on the vocal scales. The lyrics have been penned by Varun Grover and adapted from the poem by yesteryear poet Dushtant Kumar, who has been given due credit by the lyricist.

Proceeding with Mann kasturi, the band imprints their success in this seven-minutep-long track. Amit Kilam takes the lead with the vocals and strikes a chord with his rendition from the very start. The sturdy vocals of the singer blends well with the singing of Rahul Ram and Himanshu Joshi. The musical arrangements for the number are a mix of folk and classical and are loosely based on raag bhoopali. The lyrics complement the musical arrangement and go along with the situation of the album.

The album reaches its climax with Bhor, and the band once again goes behind the mic for this slow song. Indian Ocean has used percussion beats to orchestrate this track. One can hear Kilam playing his signature instrument gabgubi (plucked drums). The song is quite interesting but giving its duration, it gets a little monotonous.

Verdict: Indian Ocean impresses with three unconventional tracks.

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