Alternative pop. Alt Rock. Experimental pop. At a glance, these are genres that promise a fresh perspective. But every so often, an album emerges from this space that pushes boundaries even further, carving out a niche that’s entirely its own. Enter Upamanyu Mukherjee’s debut masterpiece, “Negotiating Oxytocin.”Let’s break it down B- Side Guys style.
The Prodigy’s Introduction
When was the last time you stumbled across a debut album by a 16-year-old that left you in stunned reverence? The precocity of Upamanyu Mukherjee is not just in his youth, but in the breadth of emotion and maturity he brings to this album. The title “Negotiating Oxytocin” throws us headfirst into a whirlwind of feelings—love, intimacy, vulnerability, and the challenges that come with understanding them. For those who might be unfamiliar, Oxytocin, the biochemical symbol of love, bonds us, wraps us in warmth, and sometimes even ensnares us in its complexities. This album, therefore, is a profound introspection into these intricacies.
Musical Tapestries and Vocals
While Mukherjee’s mastery over the piano and guitar crafts the melodic backbone of the album, the real magic lies in his lyrics. They’re raw, unfiltered glimpses into the soul of someone who’s both observer and participant in the tumultuous journey of human connection. Songs like “For You,” “Smithereens,” and “7:55” aren’t just musical tracks—they’re narratives that each of us can relate to, having lived some semblance of them in our own lives.
Now, let’s talk vocals. They are the vessel through which these narratives are delivered, and Mukherjee’s voice is a revelation. Deep, slightly rough around the edges, and laden with earnestness, it’s a voice that compels you to sit up and listen. And when you do, the layers of meaning in each track begin to unravel.
Collaboration and Production
Onkar Tarkase’s influence is evident throughout. The guitars, harmony vocals, and percussion programming complement Mukherjee’s foundational work, resulting in an album that feels cohesive and complete. A special shoutout to tracks like “Smithereens” for its percussive ingenuity, and “For You” for its emotive string sections.Now, onto production. This is where the album gets its polished finish. With meticulous sound engineering, mixing, and mastering—courtesy of Onkar Tarkase and Donal Whelan—the soundscape of “Negotiating Oxytocin” is one of immersive, emotive brilliance.
Not Just Music, It’s Art
If you’re looking for an enhanced musical experience, this album offers you just that. The three animated music videos are visual treats that merge seamlessly with Mukherjee’s auditory vision. As a doodle artist, Mukherjee’s expertise shines through, further accentuating the album’s multi-sensory appeal.
Gen Z’s Hope
Here’s the kicker—this album isn’t just making waves in niche circles. It debuted at No.1 on the iTunes Top 10 albums in India. For a day, perhaps more, this young prodigy has claimed the crown. It’s a glaring spotlight on the prowess of emerging Gen Z artists who are breaking molds, defying expectations, and heralding a new age in music.
To Wrap It Up…
The world of alternative music is vast, diverse, and constantly evolving. Yet, even in such an expansive universe, some stars shine brighter than others. Upamanyu Mukherjee’s “Negotiating Oxytocin” is one such luminous entity.
In a tight, well-constructed 24 minutes and 35 seconds, Mukherjee takes us on a rollercoaster ride—one filled with moments of vulnerability, introspection, elation, and profound understanding. It’s a journey that’s personal yet universal, intimate yet expansive.
For those of you searching for music that not just entertains but also resonates, challenges, and envelops—this is it. Dive in, feel every note, every word, and let the magic of “Negotiating Oxytocin” wash over you.
And as you do, remember this: you’re not just listening to an album. You’re witnessing the rise of a prodigious talent who’s just getting started. So here’s to Upamanyu Mukherjee, and here’s to many more musical masterpieces in the years to come.