The debut EP of Bengali-American singer, songwriter, composer, and producer Meera Naz combines not only styles and instruments, it also combines cultures, ideas, thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
The multitalented artist created a unique piece of earth with her EP. “Volume One” builds a place that feels exciting, exotic, and filled with emotion and passion. The opening track, “No Hero”, feels like an exclamation mark to the statement above. With exotic percussion, and a calm, dark backing, the track abducts you into a rich-textured story that has a resting, but also omniscient vibe attached. The vocals serve as the light counterpart to the dark topic at hand. With a confident and powerful undertone, the vocals seem fragile when in fact they can tear down walls.
“There was a Time” switches gears, building a much brighter atmosphere. I really like the playful approach in which emotions are triggered. Just due to vocal expression and a bit more energy woven into the backing texture, the track gets this powerful aura, telling its story with a seamless blend of different cultures. The absolute strong suit of singer/songwriter Naz is her ability to merge these cultures because she’s living and breathing their influences. In my opinion, this cultural blend is something that cannot be staged, because you have to feel it in your heart and soul to realize how to transmit it.
My favorite track of the EP probably is the third one, “Truth Is”. Why? Well, for me, it feels like the artist just decided to let go of boundaries. Any boundaries. Country borders, genre restrictions, time, space – you name it. The result is an almost psychedelic flow where dream meets reality, where groove meets melody, and where worlds collide. The relaxing flow created by this tune is something that the listener can get lost in, floating on colorful backing textures, guided by the seductive vocals acting almost like meditation guidance. I just love it when music surprises me, taking me to places I didn’t expect, offering the heart and soul of something I don’t know.
The closing track of the EP is a piano instrumental version of the original song. While of course the original brings more power and versatile expression, the piano version does have its strong suit as well. Showcasing the melody, this tune offers a more delicate and fragile side of the tune you easily can miss in the original. The piano brings a large amount of melancholy, but due to the playing style, it’s not a desperate, sobbing melancholy at all. It’s more like a whisper of sadness, embedded in a scenery that contains enough energy to feel bright and open-ended.
All in all, “Volume One” is a great showcase of talent, and it’s also a surprising mystery box of sound, so to speak. The music of Meera Naz is an evolution of sound, and it’s the most intriguing blend of culturally influenced music I heard in a long time. This goes deeper than just pop, rock, or any other genre already specified.
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