Kajal got first-listen for Ashni’s new single “Weave,” released today.
“Weave” opens by revealing its spine, a resonant vibration characteristic of a sarod or sitar sound, its vertebrae keyed by piano.
The body of the song is fleshed out by its melodic phrasing, a thoughtful construction of the idiom, improvisational-styling, and spirit that becomes salient when jazz and Indian classical music meet.
Ashni’s voice invokes a nostalgia reminiscent of Susheela Raman’s chalky vocals in “Yeh Mera Divanapan” and Sunidhi Chauhan’s pep-step in “Paheli Zindagani,” while maintaining the meditative oscillations we hear from artists like Kurt Vile and Tasneem.
March on, will we / Make art, will we / draw crowds, sing loud, home bound / we will always be.
Her messaging mirrors the movements that music builds and is built around. Ashni writes about the interactions between people and the systems they are brought up in. She sings about frustration, attempts to understand and connect, and hope.
Listening to “Weave” is like watching a spool spin a satin rug. The kind that, for a moment, suspends your breath as it shimmers differently from every angle, like a hologram. “Weave” is a song that humanizes. It transforms our scarecrow moments into ones that are embodied and realized.