Last year, we’ve seen surprising acts emerged from various lands whether it’s from the capital city, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Samarinda, Lampung, or Malang. They evolved to show their greatest potential and some acts like Vira Talisa, Oscar Lolang, Wake Up! Iris, HEALS, Coldiac or Manjakani managed to put a smile on our faces for their achievements throughout the year. But it’s time to open a new chapter and we could not wait to see what 2018 has to offer. We put our radars up high and down under to see the underrated talents in some cities across Indonesia that we might think could make their big break in 2018. It seems like folk genre is hard to be dethroned on the independent scene so expect a lot of folk musicians in this list. As it is an ongoing list, there could be a glitch in the system. Some of the acts might disappear altogether, or some new names might emerge. So far this is a list of potential musicians that you have to watch in 2018.
Marigold became the second roster of GZZ Records after successfully launching Coldiac into fame. Since their predecessor put up a high standard from this label, we would love to see the act deliver their best in 2018. They have released few singles so far, so we could expect an album soon. Their pop jazz sounds might appeal to a wider audience in the city of Malang and it will gather a lot of radio airplay. Check out their single “Cerita & Arti” and “Tension” for a taste of what’s coming.
Heidi Nasution or known with her stage name The Girl With The Hair stunned us when she released “Soon Finland”. Her husky voice is impeccably paired with acoustic guitar. With proper management and good songs, it is easy to see Heidi becomes the new darling of folk music in Indonesia. We’re rooting for you!
Murphy Radio are mad talented, as we could see from their intricate guitar melodies. Putting math rock as their forte, the band hailing from Samarinda reminds us of Japanese act, Toe. With support coming from the likes of Iga Massardi, it is possible to see this band rocking more stages in 2018.
Jangly guitars, loads of reverbs, and aesthetic visual are the essentials we need to get through the year. Those elements can be found on Soft Blood, a band hailing from Bandung. They have released a single called “Epitaph” in 2017 and did some stages, but sadly went on a pretty long halt without any release. In the end of 2017, they proved their existence with a music video and relived our hope once again that they will be more active this year. Their new EP will be released throuh Misashi Records, a sub label under Nanaba Records which releases CD format.
If a reincarnation is true, then we’d want to be Dandy Gilang on next life. The musician is the brain behind Much, Write The Future and lately his solo venture as Linger. The possibilities with Dandy Gilang is endless and Linger can give us a mix between emo, pop punk and indie rock. “Condescending” is great and all, but can we get a full album next?
This one is an easy math, combine three talented ladies on one project and boom, you’ll have success on the go. Daramuda project initiated by produced Deni Ramdani sees Danilla, Sandrayati Fay and Rara Sekar showcase their individuals’ flavors. So far, we only listen their individual singles, but a collaboration project between them must be explosive right?
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Rayssa Dynta in 2018 as her label, Double Deer Records, promise her debut album will be released within this year. Having been involved in several collaboration projects before her solo debut, Rayssa’s charming yet child-like voice is a unique factor that is paired well with electro-pop genre.
The fourpiece shoegaze band coming from Surabaya, Cotswolds, have just released their album “Tadius” via Hema Records. To say that their sound is ordinary is an understatement, as their live shows could send us chills with their excellent take on sound effect, layered guitars and dynamic drums. Since they were formed in 2015, they have released a split tape with Bedchamber before, so their new album will only put more exposure on their craft. Sadly, Cotswolds’ frontman are currently experiencing health issues, we wish you a speedy recovery so we could see Cotswolds rock the stage once again.
By this rate, we already knew that folk genre is the ‘it’ genre of independent scene in Indonesia and one of them who do it rather well is Fletch. The band comprised of six college mates put folk as their main element while fusing other genres such as post-rock, trot, or pop on the go. Their song “Tiga Pagi” and “Sadajiwa” kind of blew up on Spotify and make sure you check out their latest album “Konotasi”.
Ok, it’s folk music again but, why not? Teampal is a folk band based in Bali. They first gained exposure after their song “Di Jalan” was uploaded onto Indielokal’s Youtube channel. On October 2017, they have released an album “Evoluasi Diri” with acoustic guitar instuments and vocals as their strength. Seeing the response they got from social media, they could be the next best export from the land of Gods.
11. Batas Senja
Bandar Lampung is very lucky to have a folk band like Batas Senja. Formed in 2014, Batas Senja which was initially based in Jakarta moved to Lampung following the founder’s decision to come home. Itong, Bella, Sarah, Juli, Anjas, and Nino captured the heart of the listeners when they first released “Alenia” back in 2016. Last year, the band released two songs “Kan Menua” and “Kertas dan Pena”. The harmony between the male and female singer goes really well, and they are bound to big things if they continue making honest and poetic music.
Hailing from Malang, Sal Priadi is the latest addition to the already stellar roster of GZZ Records. Not to put down anyone under this label, but we believe that Sal Priadi got the most potential to spread his music nationwide if he works for it. His sentimental and poetic lyrics, combined with dramatic folk music can be said as a high demand in our music industry. With his good look and great live performances, he could make his big break (IF he put out new materials within this year, at least an EP).