As the monsoon showers gentle rain, a fresh breeze caresses your face while you sit by the window with a steaming cup of hot chai, immersing yourself in the melodic world of ‘NOIR,’ allowing your soul to synchronize with the falling drops.
Shikriwal And Anyme NOIR EP Review
Released on September 10, 2023, ‘NOIR’ emerges as a soulful, multi-dimensional EP, a joint creation between the beat-plus-wordsmith Shikriwal and the gifted Delhi artist, Anyme. Within this 3-track gem, Xtermiser’s evocative guitar strings intertwine seamlessly with a lush sonic landscape, blending the flavors of jazz, soul, and hip-hop to craft a captivating experimental chill-hop experience. The EP’s heart lies in its fusion of raw instrumentation, enchanting vocals, poignant poetry, and the embrace of Lo-Fi rap beats. Some of the sweet notes on the project include ‘Blessings,’ which opens with nightclub saxophone notes, a silky backdrop, and Anyme’s irresistibly catchy chorus.
The opener has the sensation of a live performance, something absolutely extraordinary and out of the box. Shikriwal’s lyrics sync beautifully with the music’s feel, echoing, “Main dikhta bilkul tumhari tarah hu, hasta bilkul tumhari tarah hu, gussa bilkul tumhari tarah hai/Toh kya tum mere aane wale kal ki jhalki ho?,” ‘Blessings’ has undertones of everything from pain to poise. It’s a one-of-a-kind song that ticks off a number of genre boxes. Overall, this project feels carefully curated and well constructed.
‘Farak Nahi’ encapsulates a sense of tragic solitude and numbness within its verses, followed by a sudden surge of comfort and presence. It features Shikriwal delivering poetic, rhythmic lyrics over tight guitar riffs. These sonics feel worn-in and earthly; something about them recalls dust-covered wooden floors, and the fragrance of old city houses.
One of the highlights of ‘NOIR’ is the balance between dreamy quotables with unexpected, straight-from-the-heart lines. All three tracks read as ballads — light on the soul, a dab of jazz, and a dash of rap, truly innovative. I connected immediately with ‘Loose ends’. In his flow and delivery, Shikriwal captures the nostalgic essence of the early 00s indie songwriting era. But this time around, there’s a suave touch of jazz in the mix.
Although they have been creating exceptional music for some time, it’s only recently that they have begun releasing tunes that resonate with the entire nation. Perhaps part of what makes Shikriwal, Anyme and Xtermiser able to deliver at such a high bar is their rich cultural heritage. With ‘NOIR,’ these artists introduce a sound that’s both relatable and comforting. Shikriwal’s various projects each take a unique approach, almost making it seem like they belong to different artists altogether.