Wednesday, 27 May, 2020

New music released during quarantine


By Mannu Shahi

It's been nearly two weeks that the country has gone through the lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the world. The WHO has announced this virus as a pandemic and thus the government with its fragile health care system and unmanaged population division has been extending the lockdown time as a prevention method to the serious contagious environment the regular lifestyle might cause. Despite the socially frustrating atmosphere and the challenges of not having any motivation to continue on a work schedule, musicians have been continuously putting out their creative work be it a live stream of their performance from their bedrooms, their pending works or coming up with artistic new approaches to divert the attention of their audiences from the scary news broadcast to something interesting and light hearted.
Diwas Gurung a US based Nepali music composer, guitarist, vocalist and sound engineer recently released his single Dhoka Khola from his upcoming album Baato. Categorizing his music under the Neo Folk genre of World Music, Gurung's guitar playing and arranging skills has been hailed by many musicians following his legacy to adapt this Nepali folkish texture in their own musical repertoire. The lyrical video for Dhoka Khola was uploaded on 31st March 2020 from his personal social media pages with hopeful messages of things getting back to normal soon if each and every human out their takes care of themselves and their families and acts out responsibly in these times of crisis. Gurung himself is stuck in the current epicenter of this outbreak in Brooklyn, New York, and has been strictly following the lockdown rule declared by the government of America as he revealed in a live stream held on his personal account the very evening the track was released.
Monkey Temple is another rock outfit that published their single Gahiro II (Bilin) on 1st April 2020. This dynamic rock group led by singer/ songwriter Sareen Deoja has seen many line-up changes over the past decade, however, the current array of musicians have been attached to the group for a few years now. Pratap Risal on drums, Dipesh Shrestha on guitars, Jenish Maharjan on bass and Deoja on guitars and vocals form this alternative rock group quite prominent in the contemporary mainstream music industry. With the previous track Gahiro being a huge success in their social media sites, the band recreated the same effects with identically arranged music, similar chord progressions and variation in the lyrics and the solo section of the track.
Mukti and Revival is one legendary Nepali-blues group that requires no introduction to any local music enthusiast as the band has been active since the early 90s' with their anthems like Chaunbandi Cholo and Dalli Resham. The band has toured as a group in many continents of the world and is among the few active groups with a consistent gigging life and less internal conflict amidst the band members. Roshan Kansakar the bass player and co-founding member of the group still remains as the bassist of the contemporary line-up with the guitarist Sunit Kansakar and drummer Nikhil Tuladhar replacing the remaining two co-founders Rabindra Shrestha and Binod Shrestha. This super group also released their new music video Banchekai Milena from their album Swotantra on 3rd April 2020.


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