1. Kapal Udara: “Ruman Teman”
The thematic centerpiece off Kapal Udara’s latest release Suakajiwa — an obvious contender for Indonesian album of the year already. “Rumah Teman” is a warm friendship nostalgia that longs for a meeting amidst the reality that now we need to distance ourselves from each other once again.
2. crawling:twins: “Perfume Wraps”
An avant-prog number by the Bandung’s newcomer crawling:twins. There isn’t much that we can learn about the band from the internet for now, but if anything, “Perfume Wraps” marks an elegant entrance for the band to the scene. Packed with constantly-changing time signature and free jazz horns, the serving here is more than enough to put them on our band-to-watch list.
3. Anya Junor: “I Swear That I’m Over You”
As someone who declares a huge admiration for Disney Princess, Anya Junor obviously knows her stuff very well. “I Swear That I’m Over You” is a magical entry point to Anya’s world of romantic tales. It’s a waltz full of childlike whimsy with rich instrumentation. There’s still a whole lot of room to explore within the scope of what she’s doing, and we could definitely see her writing for grand musicals or a national-scale cartoon soundtrack if she continues making songs this good or better down the road. Digression, we can’t wait to hear more from Anya Junor.
4. A. Nayaka: “Balance”
“Balance” sees the Def Jam Indonesia’s roster, Ariel Nayaka, spitting verses on finding balance in modern times atop a drill beat, which he claims to be his first attempt at doing so. This is yet another track by Ariel that proves that he’s one of the finest Indonesian rappers working today.
5. jubilee marisa: “twentysixteen”
This is the debut single by up-and-coming singer-songwriter jubilee marisa (styled in lowercase) who’s been signed by Wonderland / Universal Indonesia. “twentysixteen” feels like a song written by the boygenius family’s long-lost cousin. It captures the triumph of teenage love that is at times magical yet confusing, wrapped in a two-part composition. The first portion of the track is rather somber, tied by a warming guitar arpeggio, while the second half is uplifted by a steady post-punk drumbeat that somehow makes it feel like a bonus track off Lucy Dacus’ latest record — which means a good thing.
6. SUAR: “Terjadilah”
It’s hard not to associate SUAR with nostalgia, especially when you are a defining icon of a certain era like Suar Nasution and the 90’s indie scene. But there’s nothing wrong with it, especially when the songwriting is as good and as catchy as this. In this project, SUAR borrow the best sounds from the late 80’s to mid 90’s alternative music — or should we say it, reuse since they were also collectively part of the era.