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Piya Podder And The Art Of The Ballad

Nov 12, 05:10pm

Her single ‘The World Keeps Turning’ fires on all pop cylinders

Writing a direct, simple pop song isn’t always as simple as it seems. There is a certain sensibility one must find; ease of listening without sounding lazy and low-effort, a sound that is warm and sometimes sparse but not threadbare, a mood that’s uplifting but with a hint of melancholy – it’s far from just taking a few chords and putting some well-worn lyrics about some vague subject (though it has been proved, sadly, that sometimes that approach seems to yield results too). Delhi singer-songwriter Piya Podder takes a bit of a more expansive approach with her new single ‘The World Keeps Turning’ and finds dense, substantial results. This song fills the ear and goes over really well in the process.

The production on this song is nothing short of excellent. The arrangement is primarily piano, a warm sound that supports her clear-as-a-bell singing voice (there’s a bit of acoustic guitar too). This grows into a much more lush, layered tune with some drums (marching-band style), lots of vocal layering and some brass too. This is so smart because it allows her to stay at the same level vocally but allow the rest of the track to mushroom around her. And that’s what it does, reaching a very satisfying crescendo towards its conclusion. There’s the classic explosion of colour here, everything is at its most intense, it’s loud and vibrant, and it’s great balladry. We do live a world where pop takes on many forms, but this is as 2000s indie pop as it gets. Almost four and a half minutes of rousing instrumentation and meditations on transience is not the most done thing in 2021, but Piya and ‘The World Keeps Turning’ makes a hell of a case for it.

 

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