Friday, December 30, 2011

Harsha Iyer- Curious Toys (2011)


After listening to Harsha a bunch, and talking to him from india to Boston over the facebooks chat, i have come to realize how wide a range of music this dude digs on and ends up subtly and at times overtly adding to his own songs. My initial review favored the comparison between Overcautious as a pop song to songs by The Kinks and OTC. But that is the tip of the iceberg; Overcautious is one song in the style of Pop Music this dude enjoys writing. And needless to say, dude is prolific. Hes working with a lot of different musicians while writing solo stuff. Hell yeah. Tracks like Not Yet Dead really blew me away in listening to Curious Toys: it is moody and sparse, dark, with excellent vocal melodies, guitar work and string arrangements.

Below Not Yet Dead is my initial review of Overcautious, with a link to his bandcamp page for his 2011 album, Curious Toys:

Harsha Iyer - Curious Toys - 06 Not Yet Dead by ninko

This 19 year old artist was just recently introduced to me by a well-respected musical cohort who always gives me great recommendations. At this point, i do not know much about his story. I know he is from Chennai, India, and in his relatively young life he apparently grew up absorbing a great mix of varying influences in music. Though his styles cover a wide spectrum of sounds, my initial first impressions are a bit more straightforward.

By Overcautious, track 2 off Curious Toys (which is the only album of his that i know is in existance; apparently he was in a band, possibly though highschool etc.), Olivia Tremor Control immediately came to mind. But, as Olivia seemed to model their music distinctly on The Beatles and The Beach Boys, Harsha struck me as presenting a similar idea of keeping the classic instrumentation and experimental ideas as Olivias does with their influences, only with bands more along the lines of The Kinks and The Soft Boys, but also Love and Television, mixed with other punk/rock sounds i cant quite place.

Overcautious struck me as a prime example of a take on the darker sides of pop music in these respects, with a verse in a minor key using catchy bouncy lyrics and those damned sweet harmonies to color it all in, which then gives way to a more legato chorus line that eventually leads into a dissonant solo section. Everything is tied together so very nicely; This is some neat stuff. Dig it.

curious toys (bandcamp free download)

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