‘Coke Studio’ released the second episode of Season 8 on Sunday featuring “Sammi Meri Waar” by Umair Jaswal and Quratulain Balouch (QB), “Sakal Ban” by Rizwan and Muazzam, “Rock Star” by Ali Zafar and “Chirya Da Chamba” by Suraiya Khanum featuring Anwar Maqsood that created a memorable experience for audiences. As the rightful torchbearers to the century old tradition of qawwali, “Sakal Ban” adds to Rizwan and Muazzam’s colossal catalogue of their signature sound, marked by churning rhythms and apocalyptic finality. With the doubled-over vocals and the throbbing beat of the drums by Aahad Nayani, coupled with the timeless kalaam of Amir Khusrau, the track was nothing less than a beautiful sensory experience. The mood intensifies further with Tanveer Tafu’s guitar solo and once again establishes Rizwan and Muazzam’s unique flair of creating a sonic ocean only they’re capable of. “Rock Star” appeared to be a funky, jazz-esque biopic with Zafar’s signature old-fashioned song writing coupled with an addictive groove. With overblown violin riffs and Mannu’s sharp bass lines – there were plenty of twists and turns varying between modern harmonies to old-school classic desi rhythms midway through the song featuring the dhol and harmonium. The backing vocalists added a classic 60s texture to the track, all along complimenting Zafar’s high-pitched and oft baritone vocals as he sings about scoring a hit every season amongst other ‘rock star’ prerequisites. “Chirya Da Chamba” was the subtle beginning of the perfect soundscape where less is more. Suraiya’s exceptionally moving vocals add on to the earthy sound of the matka, a repetitive cycle of the piano and the guitar creating a seamless transition into a poem recital by Maqsood. The poignant words penned by the legend himself is an emotional letter to a father from his daughter who has been married off, reminiscing about the time she spent at her family home. “Chirya Da Chamba” is a classic soulful performance recorded in the first take. On their first collaborative single, “Sammi Meri Waar” – the duo, Jaswal and QB stick close to their dual strengths. A folk Punjabi song that is traditionally sung at weddings, the track has been masterfully entwined by the house band featuring a strong groove underlined by Sajid Ali’s flute and Tafu’s moody mandolin rhythm. Jaswal’s rich voice fuses smoothly with QB’s signature deep vocal, which gives way to the hook of the song’s rising chorus, making it a track that is both catchy and irresistible. The first episode was a soulful experience with Atif Aslam on vocals for “Tajdar-i-Haram” and the second episode featuring Zafar’s groovy “Rock Star” element has ignited great prospects and anticipation for the third episode.