By Sindhu Vishwam
Certain artists possess a remarkable ability to enchant listeners through their ingenious blend of instrumentation, lyrics, song structure, and vocal prowess. Shourya Malhotra epitomizes this phenomenon with his latest collaborative masterpiece, Parts of Two.
The track starts off pleasantly establishing a breezy ambience with school choir like piano pads that bring instant nostalgia. The chord arpeggios don’t try too hard to reel you in, but just as the guitars chime in, you catch yourself swaying. The instruments are all brewing a calm yet melancholic synergy and the vocals enter smoothly glissading over the instruments like a dream. The delicate interplay of the instruments and vocals weaves in a lot of human emotions together.
Might come across a few building blocks
A few broken parts, who is to say?
I found my world in you
Broke it in halves of two
With solid word weaving in easy language, the lyrics in Parts of Two does a good job of holding the music together. Fluid structure and pacing makes it easier to understand complexities of the narrative. Bookish metaphorical ideas become simpler to process, as it is sung with great ease. In an RSJ interview, Shourya mentions his struggle with writing lyrics for the melody as he says,
“Even though the main melody and chord progression for ‘Parts of Two’ came very naturally to me, it took me a year to finish the song because I had a hard time writing lyrics for it. I started writing the song in 2021 and I wanted to capture the many sides of a human being. I wanted to focus on our inherent hypocrisy and our demons, but I also wanted to write about how we have the incredible ability to be a force for good in the world.”
And that pretty much sums up exactly what the lyrics are. Well, the artist always knows better!
Parts of Two’s structure is another reason why the track is delectable. It follows the traditional rules without bending them in any way, not even sneakily. The only playground the artists have chosen to hop on is the arrangement. Evenly portioned guitar melodies (sometimes hardly even melodies) are unevenly, yet carefully arranged without any harsh harmonic overlaps. This is combined with layers of reverb heavy pads that are glued by small stacks of vocal harmonies that nervously ebb and flow as they please. In totality, the energy of the song never drops. As the track nears to a chorus, a band of strings come in to level it all out and the track peacefully continues on the smooth road.
Shourya Malhotra keeps no secrets as he vocally admits how much his collaboration with Varun Rajput and Elijah Peters has helped him develop the song to what it is today. Parts of Two, a tremendous track in the Indian scene is a powerful blend of skills of all three artists combined. It stands as another testament to great collaborations bringing the best of all worlds. It is not only a track that is well engineered to project complex emotions, but a tale of music and words coming together to serve the main goal of the track fully. It achieves the goal effortlessly while putting the listener in a melancholic mood that lingers long after the song ends.
To listen to 'Parts of Two' and other similar songs, head to GreaseRelease's indie folk and acoustic music 2023 playlist!