• Sat, Jul 20, 2024

If You Want Songwriting Excellence, Look No Further Than Khus Fir

Jun 01, 04:28pm

His single ‘There’s Something There’ is purely top-shelf stuff

Bangalore’s Rishabh Iyer is Khus Fir (fka Worms’ Cottage, but that project is nothing like this one). He is very much in the acoustic singer-songwriter lane, especially on his lovely new single ‘There’s Something There’, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just like the veritable sea of indie-inspired music floating around the worldwide pop scene at this moment. This song takes its inspiration from your favourite artists’ favourite artists; from decades like the 70s where the general approach to writing such music was far more raw and far less formulaic. In fact, what he does here is hearken back to a time when the music we all know and love was being structured and brought forward for the first time, and thus it has a timeless quality that you find much less often than you’d think.

There are ideas over the song’s four-minute runtime about digging below something one would normally find superficial to find meaning that isn’t overtly there, and that’s a pretty lofty idea (go and search for the term ‘liminal space’ if you do enjoy the intellectual side of things); what the song communicates far more clearly is the feeling we all have where we have this breakthrough or clarity in our lives, but we have no idea why or even what that feeling is related to. The vocal delivery that echoes some Robert Palmer (Google him) or even a bit of Sufjan Stevens (Google him) conveys the former; If the first brick’s placed wrong/ Then slowly the bricks fall down is some classically abstract stuff, and it’s intended that way; British post-punk (Google it!?) pioneered this in the 80s. The instrumentation is either sad, uplifting or somewhere in the middle depending on what mood the listener is in. More learned listener will happily pick out some late-90s grunge influences, or even some acoustic-era Nick Drake, but all that is academic. In fact, Khus Fir seems to want to keep his thoughts on ‘There’s Something There’ in that space between making a connection from a feeling to a reference, and knowing a feeling but having no clue where it’s coming from. It’s a nice layer on top of what is otherwise a slow acoustic song we don’t really get in today’s age of being told exactly what to feel and think; that itself is worth more than the price of admission. Here’s a simple song that wants you to explore your own thoughts while listening to it. That’s a planet-sized W (Google it?) in our books, and it will be in yours.


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