Ajay Mathur “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring” (SINGLE)

In a short, simple pop song like “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring,” it doesn’t take more than just a couple of seconds into the track for listeners to immediately get a feel for what the music is all about – and in this case, the material is everything its title would have us believe it to be. Singer/songwriter Ajay Mathur is starting summer today, and he’s kicking back, leaving his cares and concerns about everything in the world on the mainland and jetting away to an implied paradise in “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring” any of us could use some time in right now.

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He’s got an anti-pretentiousness about his composing that I immediately liked when checking out this song, but even more important, he has a voice that was made for the pop genre. When this man is belting out the chorus, he could be doing it in front of a full orchestral backdrop and still sound as charismatic and intense as he does in this much humbler setting we find in “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring.” His voice has a lot of power behind it, and I can imagine it being even more potent if given the right compositional circumstances to come undone. He’s being rather conservative and playing it safe in this performance, likely just to give us a depth analysis not possible in something a bit more raucous and loud, which is all he needs to be doing at this point in his professional campaign.

You can’t beat a rhythm as openly inviting as this is, and it reinforces my own belief that pop does best when all of the complexities are left out of it entirely. Mathur doesn’t need a thing in the world other than a guitar, a microphone, and an audience to croon to, and if he did, he wouldn’t be sounding quite as boss as he does in “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring,” stripped of literally all of the synthesized noise his peers would rely upon when making anything original this year. This man doesn’t need the machinery to make beautiful music, and though I don’t believe folks were debating that ahead of this single’s arrival, they certainly won’t be once it finds a permanent home somewhere on the FM dial.

Puritans, occasional fans, and everyone in between in the realm of pop music right now need to stop focusing on mainstream players alone and give the likes of Ajay Mathur a shot, as I think we’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot more of his music in the years ahead. He’s off to a good start with this performance, and while he’s going to need a lot more time in the studio and on the stage before he can start claiming his audience on the circuit, what he’s already doing is enough to convince me he’s a gem worthy of your time. “Don’t Want the Phone to Ring” is a special single and offers a lot of reasons to like where Ajay Mathur might be going next. After all, he’s not The Artist’s Forum’s Artist of the Month for nothing.

Mark Druery