SummerNights is the new EP by SoE and it features vocals by Aman Sandhu, Tej Gill, Rubia Sagoo, Ginz and Jinder Jinda. It is an EP that is not intended to be pumped at the dance floors and parties nor is it expected for iTunes charts and radio listings. What is unique about this particular EP is that it tells a story and its one that requires you to listen to it from beginning to end. The tracks hold their own and actually seem to fit in the EP as opposed to just being added to make numbers. Production was done by Toronto’s SoE, who has developed a dedicated cult following in recent years with his new and fresh take on Punjabi music. Check out the official BhangraCentral review of SummerNights below!
Track 1 – Intro
We kick things off with an introduction track that comes under just shy of 2 minutes. It starts of with a calming flute as we hear some chords placed behind the vocals of Aman Sandhu. As an intro it really sets the tone with a more cinematic sound along with the flutes; it makes you eager to get into the next track.
Track 2 – Ranjha ft Aman Sandhu
The first official track on the EP is Ranjha – Extended featuring vocals by Aman Sandhu. For those that don’t know SoE released this track a while ago with just Aman Sandhu’s chorus alongside some rapping. Whilst I actually liked the rapping, I was hoping that Aman Sandhu had a bigger part in terms of verses. Nonetheless Ranjha was in my music collection on repeat for a long time. When I saw the track listing to SummerNights and saw an ‘extended’ version of Ranjha, I could only hope that Aman Sandhu had dropped a few more lines and I was in luck.
The EP version is a complete and polished version of the original track; we get two complete Punjabi verses. The production has also been altered slightly. You hear the hard-hitting kicks in the beginning but it slowly fades away as we hear the beautiful familiar flutes from Punjabi MC’s Raat Na Bole track. SoE does an excellent job in integrating those elegant flutes into the background. The verses to the track go with the overall flow and really compliment the track overall. Aman Sandhu is one of the most promising and exciting singers in the industry at the moment. There is something unique about his vocals that really stands out for me. The track overall has that summertime jam-vibe and is a great start to the EP
Track 3 – Akhianch Tu Vasda ft Rabia Sagoo
Next we have a rendition of Surinder Kaur’s Akhianch Tu Vasda sung by Rabia Sagoo. Covering any Surinder Kaur song is a tough feat for anyone and covering this particular track is extremely difficult. Rabia’s vocals are superb on the track; she has a calm and soothing voice which goes well with the track. The production is simple and straightforward, no addition of unnecessary samples or instruments. This version is more of a Hip Hop style with a grimy baseline coupled with a hard-hitting beat.; there is a nice twist towards the end of the track, which was highly surprising and something that I enjoyed.
I would have preferred if that beat was consistent throughout. Overall the track works well; its a slow track that you can easily enjoy both in the car or in the garden. However it wasn’t something that I was feeling too much; its a personal feeling that covering Surinder Kaur’s tracks are extremely difficult.
Track 4 – Rumaal ft Aman Sandhu
Aman Sandhu returns for Rumaal. This is more of a dance / bhangra-type track, with catchy lyrics and an energetic beat along with the funky tumbi backdrop. I feel this type of music / beat really fit Aman Sandhu’s vocals. The high level of production continues and you can hear the funky tumbi throughout the track, adding to the overall experience. Something that is noticeable with this EP is just how simplistic yet effective the production is. Rumaal is a perfect example of the utilisation of a handful of instruments to produce something special, without the need of adding unnecessary elements. Again this is something that you can easily pump in your car-rides or even chilling out in the garden.
Track 5 – Hanju ft Aman Sandhu
Things are switched up now as we move onto the fifth track titled Hanju, sung by Aman Sandhu. Hanju is a fantastic and emotional track. Elegant production and a nice flow, but the thing that stands out to me is the lyrics. It has deep lyrics and it tells a unique story. Its a journey from start to finish. Having Aman Sandhu sing this track only added to its quality. You can hear the emotion in his vocals, which further adds to the overall track. The sarangi pieces are fantastic and give the track that extra added x factor. Aman Sandhu is a highly versatile singer and this track is a great example of his pitch range and capabilities. Hanju has a funky grimy baseline complimented by the hard-hitting hip hop styled beats. Overall I am really feeling this track, it is lyrically rich and the production is superb; again nothing un-needed is added to it.
Track 6 – Tharthi ft Tej Gill
Tej Gill makes his one and only appearance on the EP with track 6 – Tharthi. You soon hear the powerful Desi vocals of Tej Gill along with subtle Sarangi pieces. The production on this has more of a Hip-Hop influence. There is an absence of traditional Punjabi percussion, which is refreshing to hear. The lyrics on Tharthi are great and highlight the rich culture and heritage land of Punjab.
The contrast of raw Desi vocals and Hip-Hop beats leads to a extremely pleasant listen. There is a little twist at the end with a more desi-approach with the percussion, however I am glad its kept only at the end. I actually preferred the track without that beat as it made the vocals stand out a lot more. Its a shame this is Tej Gill’s only appearance on the EP, he is a highly talented singer and I cannot wait for more things from him in the future!
Track 7 – Pehr Te ft Jinder Jinda
Jinder Jinda makes his only appearance on the EP with Pehr Te. The track is more on the Punjabi-style. Lyrics are catchy and easy to understand. The production compliments the vocals perfectly. Whilst other tracks on the EP had more of a Hip Hop-styled production, the production on Pehr Te fits perfectly. Pehr Te utilises the traditional Punjabi instruments; I really like the sarangi and flute pieces. The track has more of an old-school sound, which actually is not a bad thing. Production is fitting and atmospheric. Pehr Te is another great example and demonstration of SoE’s musical talent. He really has developed his craft over the years and it shows not only in this track but throughout the EP.
Track 8 – Preeti ft Aman Sandhu
Things are switched up for the last track on the EP. This is one of the standout tracks, for me personally. Its just a really catchy song, easy to follow lyrics and great production. The vaja pieces are superb, coupled with Aman Sandhu’s vocals, it makes for a pleasant listen. The glass breaking on the chorus is a nice touch, not too loud or overbearing. The tumbi is prominent and crisp throughout the track. It takes a few listens to get used to, but I really like it and its a great way to end the EP.
And with that, the EP is done; 8 tracks, 4 vocalists, 1 rapper and 1 producer. There is definitely a lot of potential in SoE and there are elements in the EP that really highlight his creativity and diverse musical approach. I like the sweet toned flutes present in some of the tracks. The EP is a combination of old school Punjabi music, with Hip Hop influences with a modern twist. Every so often we get unexpected bursts of new talent and music that offers fresh and innovative sounds. SummerNights is a great EP, featuring some great vocalists. I cannot wait for an actual album by SoE in the future.
Check out the official BhangraCentral rating for SummerNights by SoE