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Salt Rain - Susheela Raman (2001)

World - Indian, European and African

Most similar to:

Nitin Sawhney, Badmarsh and Shri

Best tracks?

Salt Rain, Song to the Siren, Nagumomo

Buy it at Amazon!
Buy it at Amazon!

Why did I buy it?

Saw her at BBC Music Live and loved it.


This beautiful debut album is hard to define. Raman was brought up on classical Indian music, but with a band comprised of Indian, European and African musicians, she leads us into some more modern twists on the traditional sounds.

Her songs sound new and fresh, yet mellow and bluesy, with relaxed tunes like "Nagumomo" interspersed with more plaintive vocals. She has taken many traditional ethnic songs and cut them back or pepped them up to make them her own, as well writing the haunting songs "Woman" and "Salt Rain" about her own family experiences. Every song tells a tale and stands along as a gorgeous sound, while the lyrics slip between English, Hindi and Tamil.

The high point of the album for me is the final track, "Song to the Siren". (She also covers "Trust in me" from the Jungle Book, making it twisted and alluring.) This Tim Buckley classic has been covered a number of times but none so movingly as by Raman - she has brought purpose to cover versions. A beautiful close to a stunning album.

Would I buy it again?


This page last updated: 01 September 2022

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