Ajay Mathur is an Indian-born Switzerland based singer-songwriter. His third studio album, 9 to 3, was released May of this year. His sound is similar to that of Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Don Henley, and in some regards even the Beatles. However, 9 to 3 as a whole doesn’t sound like any one of the aforementioned groups at all. Each song has it’s own unique flavor. And with instrumental variations such as sitars and harps the music can have a world music influence uncommon in popular rock.
Not your run-of-the-mill indie artist: Mr. Mathur has received some notable accolades as of recent for his musical accomplishments; the single ‘My World’ currently ranks: #9 on National Airplay top 100 chart, #49 on Netherlands Top 100 Airplay Chart, and #179 on USA National Airplay Top 200 Chart. Sometimes jazzy sometimes rock-infused; the album is fun and unpredictable. Some other notable tracks include ‘Walking on the Water’ and ‘Oh Angel.’
‘Walking on the Water’ (track#2) is a playful tune that seems to have the spirit of a feel good commercial single. Soulful and playful all at once this tune comes as a bit of a surprise, as the opening song has a more straight-ahead rock sound (even the vocals are dissimilar in timbre and tone).
‘Oh Angel’ is a mellow song that opens with sitar, vocals, harp, and guitar harmonics. But it’s more than mellow, as the song has a transcendent allure; it’s all together peaceful as it is majestic. ‘Oh Angel’ expresses exactly the kind of angelic instrumental accompaniment that parallels the lyrics. The song rings with a bittersweet sadness; clearly there’s a longing for someone or something lost. Yet a sense of acceptance accompanies the sadness suggesting peaceful surrender.
The perspective or theme of each song is the main source of consistency in this eclectic work of art; each one is delivered with a bit of humor or quite possibly irony. Even when darker songs are present there’s still an underlining message of optimism that seems to let the listener know that everything happens for a reason and we somehow always persevere. On a more intrinsic level, 9 to 3 pays homage to how fleeting time can be; each song represents a moment in Mathur’s life that he can never have back, but that he can always cherish and take with him through his music. It’s a tell-all playlist of songs that explores the ubiquitous ebb and flow of tension and release that makes up our lives. This is a work that gets better with each listen. And I look forward to listening to it again and again.