It’s been a really twisted, really shitty year. Nature is taking its turn to rule over us now (after we’ve killed and maimed her), and lockdown is making us rethink many things, one of them being our purpose on earth. It hasn’t been easy for people suffering with mental health issues, especially when most people either aren’t aware or choose to trivialise the very serious matter that mental illness is.
But music always understands. Music is like the friend you need, the friend you don’t have IRL but the friend who always soothes you and makes you feel better. Life isn’t just dark and gloomy, it’s full of beautiful sounds and instruments and voices that can be with you always. All you have to do is press ‘play’. And then, you’re not alone.
Mirchi Indies has always given a platform to indie artists, independent musicians and amateur singers who haven’t been heard s much as they deserve to. And they have brought to the limelight singers who use music as a superpower to wield against serious mental illnesses. So many musicians and independent artists have been exploring mental health in their songs, exposing their vulnerabilities and lending a hand to us through their music. Take that hand, and walk with them. You’re not suffering alone. This too shall pass.
Suyasha Sengupta, AKA Plastic Parvati, is the one of the coolest indie musicians we have. Her autobiographical debut album, Songs About Lovers, dropped last year and was welcomed generously amongst Indian musicians and listeners alike. The musician won the 2019 Toto Music Award and deserves it fully; her music is vulnerable and comforting as she navigates the difficult terrains of mental health and sexuality. Even as she explores the mental health of humans, relationship between masculinity and femininity, she stays true to creating quality music that aligns itself with electro-pop, dark wave, lo-fi. Listen to her on Spotfiy and Soundcloud!
aswekeepsearching is, defined by Rolling Stone India, an Ahemdabad-Pune post-rock band, and their latest album, Sleep, probably has one of the most beautiful sounds ever. This is an Indian ambient album to do help the listener do exactly what it says: sleep. It’s their search deep within for mental wellness and to create a safe space for their fans. aswekeepsearching is literally reaching out to their fans and listeners, allowing them to have a safe space, and asking them to reach out if they need to. Listen to them, and fall into a gentle, anxiety-less sleep. Wake up refreshed.
With the band, they’re Kanchan and the Beards. Just her, it’s Kanchan Daniel: Clinical Psychologist, Musician, cancer survivor. She sings the blues to chase them away, but hasn’t restricted herself to music alone. She combined her love for music and her care for mental wellness by starting a campaign, Mental Harmony, that works on promoting awareness and mental health for musicians. It’s about time we stop stereotyping musicians and artists as people ridden with mental illnesses, and it’s time we starting helping each other out.
AKA Andrew Sabu, the Bombay-based musician fearlessly explores the deep, complex web of confusions that is depression and mental health. Through his music, he says he ” wanted people to know that they are not alone in their journeys and that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling and deal with it in their own ways.” The entire album has a chill, acoustic vibe to it, and an honest vulnerability that is rare to find in music albums. Sheets is one of my favourite songs, as it makes me realise that I’m not the only one who has felt burnt out, value-less and desperate to escape. We are not alone.
Through what can be defined as really catchy, really good music, Kovsky explores the dark, glorified side of substance dependance and depression. The Bombay-based pop artist de-glamorizes depression and substance usage, which is so often made to be artistic, sexy, and even ‘cool’ in pop culture. Her music is soft and sad, but really good to the ear, the beats pulling you into its world. Depression is a serious illness she says, and this song legitimizes how some of us feel when nobody else understands. Music always understands.