Jishnu ‘Short Round’ Guha’s sophomore effort, ‘With Friends Like These’ is a wholesome concoction of lush acoustic sounds, soulful vocal banter and thoughtful lyrics. And it’s finger-pickin-good!
The seven-track EP consists of an ensemble of classy-collaborators ranging from scene veterans like Siddharth Basrur to fellow Kadak artists like Mali and Fat Yellow Moon. Each bringing in their own flavour and vocal textures to these well composed songs. Feeling very much like a box of assorted chocolates, this EP is conceptually fresh and is bound to go down as a hallmark singer-songwriter album in the Indian indie scene.
The track ‘Nowhere To Go’ features Saurabh Roy of The Lightyears Explode and is a really great up-beat folk rock song which complements the mellower appeal of the rest of the EP. The track ‘Autumn’ has a sparkling vocal performance by Mali. ‘Ghost Of Your Stories’ featuring Fat Yellow Moon is a gem of a track which is well-structured and has a beautiful explosive end to it.
The highlight performances would be by Basrur on the track ‘Losing Day’ and by Anna Holmquist on ‘Get It Into Your Head’. The entire EP is sonically & lyrically rich.
Even though Jishnu’s mesmerizing compositional skills throughout the EP are noteworthy, it’d have been good to see more of his singer side on some of the tracks. Sadly, he doesn’t deliver a standout vocal performance and at times it’s hazy to figure out his contributions in the duets. Same goes for Rahul Pais on the track ‘Autumn’.
That being said, this EP is hands down one of the finest material to be churned out by any Indian singer-songwriter in a long time. With Collaborations Like These, this kind of outcome was inevitable.
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