Ganavya: Like the Sky, I’ve Been Too Quiet review – ornate Tamil vocals, flutes and Floating Points

(Native Rebel Recordings)
The latest album in an exciting wave of experimental north Indian classical music enlists Shabaka Hutchings and Leafcutter John in its downtempo quietude

The intricate vocal acrobatics of north Indian classical music have been fertile ground for exciting fusions in recent years. Singer Arooj Aftab’s delicate variations of Urdu poetry have provided the perfect accompaniment for ambient synth soundscapes and sweeping strings on 2021’s Vulture Prince and 2023’s Love in Exile, while US vocalist Sheherazaad’s 2024 debut Qasr found harmony in Hindi lyrics and finger-picked Spanish guitar.

The latest artist to engage with this experimentation is New York-born and Tamil Nadu-raised vocalist Ganavya. Having previously collaborated with bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding, as well as joining soul collective Sault’s debut live show in 2023, she has now enlisted British jazz artist Shabaka Hutchings to produce her latest album. Across 13 tracks, Ganavya’s warm, ornate Tamil vocals are set to bubbling modular synths and breathy woodwind flutes, producing a mix of spiritual jazz and ambient experimentalism.

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