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Singer/songwriter Ajay Mathur has just released his new album, 9 to 3, a collection of psychedelic power pop. Born in India and located in Switzerland, it may be surprising to hear Mathur craft a brand of Americana à la Don Henley and Tom Petty, but, for the most, it genuinely sounds like a product of American tradition. From the Byrdsian chime of “Sitting By Your Cradle” to the Jackson Browne balladeer style of “Tell Me Why,” 9 to 3 feels like a tribute to some of the greatest songsmiths.
The album is imbued with the occasional Indian instrumentation, such as the sitars on “Oh Angel,” making for a startlingly refreshing effect. 9 to 3 jumps stylistically so often, it’s occasionally difficult to get a grasp of who Mathur really is, but in a way it shows he’s a lover of all sounds across the globe. However, of all the masks he dons, perhaps, none is more effective than the anthemic grunge of songs “My World (SOS to the Universe)” and “Password Love.” Chronicling an odyssey across the highest mountains and darkest valleys of American music, 9 to 3 sounds like a love letter from Mathur to each of his favorite musicians.
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