Creative Delta Blues/Indian Music Hybrid That is Amazingly Commercial.
I genuinely have every sympathy for the myriad of artists that not only have to find time to make glorious music; but then for fiscal reasons find themselves having to promote it themselves. If I think I’m inundated with new music; imagine what the likes of Uncut, Maverick etc receive on a daily basis, so how do they get heard?
But; sometime the stars align and instead of falling through the cracks an e-mail or CD captures my attention for no apparent reason apart from ‘fate’.
This is one such album.
Normally I would automatically dismiss something released over six months ago …….. but there was something in Ajay’s e-mail that made me want to give his music a listen ……… and you too.
Before I go any further; don’t roll your eyes when I tell you Ajay blends Delta Blues with his native Indian Folk Music on these songs …… trust me here; imagine George Harrison’s solo work filtered through Paul McCartney’s melodies and Ry Cooder’s last few albums.
There’s a distinct ‘Mystical quality’ to the beautiful opening track Namaste, which blends traditional Indian instrumentation with some Delta Blues sensibilities in the charming lyrics on a delightful love song.
As soon as I heard it; I knew that I would be in for the long haul.
Yer actual Blues really does shine through on My Illusion; so much so I can’t tell if that’s a Resonator guitar or sitar …… or both; and the song is rather lovely too.
That’s the joy of this album; there’s so much going on but mostly because of Srivastav’s delightfully ‘commercial’ voice even Mrs. Magpie was spotted nodding along when she was reading the Sunday Papers.
I love it when a song can make me go “OH!” and then press repeat; and that’s Six Armed Goddess. Now I don’t know how this love song; using the Hindu Goddess Kali as a metaphor will play out in the sub-Continent; but it’s a contender for Favourite Song status at RMHQ.
Now I’ve been playing this album for a week, I’m standing firmly on my Harrison/McCartney imagery; because apart from Ravi Shankar and the Indie band Cornershop I have no other reference for Indian music; although there’s nothing here really that could be defined as World Music; although Indian instrumentation and allusions are at the heart of the title track Karmik Blues and songs like Home and then Third Eye too; but to the untrained ear, you could easily guess that you were hearing orchestral stringed instruments anyways.
From start to finish this is a very ‘easy on the ear’ album; ideal for a Sunday morning or perhaps even a hipster cafe as you eat your Tofu and chips; but Ajay’s songs deserve much better than that; especially Calling Out and Charioteer which wouldn’t have been out of place on The White Album (easily moving Maxwell’s Silver Hammer into the extras bin!).
As I’ve mentioned two or three songs really do stand out and deserve a wider audience via the medium of Radio or television; none more so than Accept Yourself which is my Favourite Song here; and given a support act for someone like Ed Sheeran or Gerry Cinnamon will easily make Ajay Srivastav a darling of the Radio 6 studenty crowd.
Don’t let my ‘flowery descriptions’ of Delta Blues mashing up with Indian Music; or the Beatles comparisons either put you off or over excite you; this young man is a talent all of his very own, with a spectacular imagination that comes out in his songwriting and musicality.
Trust me …… hunt this album down on whatever platform you can find, listen to it ……. then buy it. You won’t regret it.
Released May 2019