Who are we really if not just biryani lovers, sharing moments with friends as we try to make sense of our world? Biryani Brothers comprises of Natasha Noorani and Zahra Paracha of Lahore Music Meet fame. Their new song ‘Ikisvi Sadi’ comes with a music video directed by Tabish Habib and after watching it I am left with a huge biryani-from-a-random-Karachi-restaurant shaped hole in my heart.
The track begins with dreamy synth textures and some twinkling guitar sprinkled on top. When the drums kick in, along with the main 80’s throwback synth line, that’s where the Biryani Brothers really find their own unique sound. It’s poppy and has a great melody, but there’s elements of sultry R&B and modern indie music in there as well. The climax, both Zahra Paracha and Natasha Noorani singing simultaneously over deeply layered instrumentation, feels fully earned and sounds brilliant.
The video is a great introduction to the band, filled with quirky personality; the little bursts of nostalgia with an ode to vintage PTV programming and other references to what we have grown up watching on TV. The Wasim Akram scene had me laughing out loud. That whole setting of two friends sharing biryani and taking in what’s being fed to them by TV advertisements; haven’t we all pretty much been in that situation at some point?
It’s also so reflective of how we as women feel in our society. We see people around us sucking in the misogynist jibber-jabber through TV and other mediums and a lot of women, who may feel like they don’t fit in the desi cookie cutter shapes being passed down year after year, asking questions and being left feeling empty. ‘Meray iraadon se tum darr rahay ho kya/kuch to bata mein ban rahi hoon kya?’ and the bridge ‘kehna chahti hoon mein jo, woh mein bolti nahin ke aas paas ke yeh log samajhtay hi nahi’. These feelings and sentiments are very real for us who have grown up and spent our whole lives trying to navigate the patriarchy blinding our society to who we really are and what we want to achieve, leaving us with a life long feeling of ‘mein ban rahi hoon kya?’
Even though the lyrics for the track might be filled with anxiety and doubt, consumed with the fear of falling and failing, this debut track from Biryani Brothers couldn’t be more confident in it’s composition and execution.