• Mon, Oct 25, 2021

Ankur Sabharwal Is A Picture Of Simplicity


album Reviews Jun 29, 06:22pm

His EP ‘The Ride’ is an unassuming and rather charming bit of indie pop
 Photo Courtesy: Ankur Sabharwal

We scoff at stereotypes all the time. With the continuous flood of content and how wild music experimentation has become in the streaming era, anything new is cast to the wayside if it doesn’t shock us, wow us or make us question our existence in some way or other. Whatever happened to normal? This isn’t completely the case with Delhi-based Ankur Sabharwal, whose EP ‘The Ride’ is a relaxing and simple effort that reminds us of what listening to music for comfort used to be.

‘The Ride’ came out a few months ago. It is five tracks long and lives completely in the realm of pop or indie-pop. The sounds are very easy-going and chilled out, and the general musical features of the songs suggest comfort and ease. His backing band is also on point (credited to Shivam Khare on keys, Sonic Shori on bass, Arjun Mathur on drums, Nishant Parashar on electric guitar, Abhay Sharma on sax and Rohit Gupta on trumpet). This no-frills approach is quite apparent from the EP’s opener ‘This Time’. There’s some classic rock influence in the guitars; in fact 80s ballads are the main thread for most of the music to be found here. The obvious nostalgia factor is balanced by some decent production and Ankur’s voice, which is something straight out of that era. ‘You And I’ is a more evocative track of the same variety, but the air of honesty is more than intact. The acoustic guitar and 6/8 time are much more suited to the form. ‘Better Man’ is a bit of a left turn into funk with its driving bassline, old-school keys (man, those sounded good back in the day) and percussive guitar. Sometimes elements of the mix are a bit muted, but the amazing horns that lift the track above and beyond more than make up for it. This is by far the catchiest song on the EP and the most memorable. It’s also the shortest and packs the most punch. If ever there is a song for you to don your rose-tinted glasses and do work around the house to, this is it. The guitar licks are keys that support everything are super catchy as well. The last two tracks on ‘The Ride’ keep some sort of momentum going. The title track is a sweet and relatively groovy song with, again, a notable bassline and some good horns. Closer ‘Home’ is maybe the most sugary and sentimental song here, but its good production and ease of listening carry it over the line into positive territory.



The thing about ‘The Ride’ as a project is that it lives in a time where it’s the odd one out. It’s all about pushing envelopes, challenging perceptions, taking sound forward, making statements, causing righteous anger, or just being shocking. This EP does precisely none of those things. Instead, it’s just a chill and honest bit of pop and indie-pop with some old-school influences and a pleasant sound. It’s difficult to know which one we want sometimes. But when we want familiarity and homeliness and comfort, it’s there for us.

Stream the EP at ankursabharwal.hearnow.com

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