UK / Bangladesh

Bengali songs reframed

There’s a significance in Khiyo’s name. The ‘Khiyo’ is a letter in the Bengali alphabet that, despite being an amalgam of two separate letters, has an identity all of its own. And so it is with Khiyo the band. Based around a core trio of singer Sohini Alam, guitarist Oliver Weeks and bass player Ben Heartland, they reinterpret Bengali folk and film songs through the filters of rock, jazz, folk and beyond, in the process creating something of its own. They’ve turned plenty of heads in their time too, being nominated for the Best Group gong at the Songlines Music Awards and earning approving glances from the likes of Guy Garvey. And when reviewing their debut self-titled album, the World Music Central website gushed about the “power chords and passion”, positing that the results were “what would have happened if Pete Townshend had gone to India with The Beatles”. High praise indeed.