Indonesian Indie Lessons, part 2: Bubblegum of Annemarie

It is been a long time since my last post on Indieful ROK. So, here I am coming back to continue my post on Indonesia Indie Lessons. I hope you enjoyed the 1st journey with Mocca with its pop swing-jazz mocca-ish sound. Yet, the journey has yet to come to an end. Now, let me bring you another excitement from another sweet band, Annemarie. Another band coming from the same hometown as Mocca, Bandung, Annemarie brings their bubblegum-ish style on the table.

annemarie

Annemarie was born in late 2004. Were junior high schoolmates, Eko and Iqbal started the idea of making a band. Later, Iqbal asked his friends Banyu and Dian, while Eko brought Tating to join the band. Tantri, joined the band when they met in the university. Since each member has brought different taste of their musical influence, Annemarie has a lot of things to blend to their own music. Eko who loves velvet underground and iqbal who got tweepop and the smiths had to blend with Banyu with his Blur influence, Dian with the Manchester style, Tating who loves Cocteau Twins and Joy Divison and Tantri with her ethereal pop influence. However, they came up with a style that all of the members fall in love with, indie pop, which becomes the beginning of their musical journey.

A unique thing about this group is that they actually got their first debut, The Living Model EP, released by Swedish indiepop label, Music is My Girlfriend in 2005.
annemarie_thelivingmodel
One of the songs from the EP is ‘The Living Model’ Here you will get the first glimpse of their sound which was definitely becomes their signature in their music which attracted Music is My Girlfriend.

 
After the release of the EP, Annemarie has to lose their original members, Dian and Bayu due to their study. Later, Eko the founding father and Tating had to leave as well. New members were welcomed during the recording session for their debut album. Inu and Jojon joined and became the full member of Annemarie. Although Dian had withdrawn himself from the band, he still contributed to the preparation of the album. Then, in 2007, they released their 1st debut album, ABC on TV.

annemarie_abcontv

Consisting of 10 lovely songs with 2 songs, The Living Model and Wonderboy, taken from their EP, Annemarie tried to elaborate their music and deliver their charming and tuneful summer afternoon tunes. This album was released with the collaboration of Music Is My Girlfriend (Sweden) and Plastilina Records (Peru).

The album began with ‘Apple (Suicide on your Stereo Set)’ A sing-a-long starter song that unveils the bubblegum-ish style of the band.

 
The title track, ‘ABC on TV’ is also another nice song which enhanced with the tweepop sound, thanks to the lovely piano and nice guitar tunes.

 
My personal favorites are ‘Bubblegum I see’ and the interlude ‘Lazy Sunny Day’. I love to hear their carefree male and female vocals and also the cheerful summery feeling in the songs. I absolutely love the guitar and piano tunes in the background as well.

 
With 70s and 80s visualization, ‘Wonderboy’ is also a nice track to sing along with. Feels like I want to dance every time I listen to it.

 
After some in and out, Annemarie now consists of Mohamad Iqbal-Iqbal (vocal/guitar), Rimauli Diandani-Rima (vocal), Anugrah Aso Nurewa-Asso (bass), Arief Fahmie (guitar), Bayu Genia Krishbie-Bayu (drum), and Annisa Nadiyah Rahmani-Icha (keyboard). Currently, they are preparing for their second album. In the mean time, do enjoy their song ‘Blue Sky On Holiday‘ which is another perfect play for this summer season.

They are currently preparing for their 2nd album. For the new album, they might go for an experiment to come out with jazz and lation fusion, which will be an excited thing to wait for. Soon, they are also planning to make videos for their songs ‘Blue Sky on Holiday’ and ‘We Do’ with Kitsch concept.

 
Besides those projects, they are going to be featured in another international compilation in September that will be released Southern Europe. Yet, no exact date has been released yet. This will be following the previous compilation projects, such as Peachy Little Secrets Compilation (2006) which was released in Singapore, Pick ‘n’ Mix Compilation (2009) in UK, and Has My Heart Gone to Sleep (2009) in Peru.

An Analysis

Annemarie might have not been as successful as Mocca as an Indonesian Indie band. Yet, Annemarie with its unique bubblegum music concept leads the way for the genre in its home country. Being able to get signed by an overseas label to produce their debut mini album, Annemarie is also another good example of how music has crossed boundaries.

I have to say that in my opinion, Annemarie’s musical style with their charming and tuneful indiepop will bring them further to reach more listeners. As they have claimed to be influenced a lot by Acid House Kings, their sound is definitely more broad thanks to the mix of indie pop with twee and some shoe gaze guitar playing in their tunes. They described their musical style as music for a summer picnic. Yes, I have to agree with that statement. Listening to their 1st album left me quite a good impression about them. Their easy to listening tune is enriched by the mix of guitar melody and electric piano tune to make it more fun and upbeat.

 
They took the same pathway as Mocca did when they choose English for their lyrics. Not only to say that English lyrics will broaden their listeners, but it also fits their concept so far. Through their songs like in Bubblegum I See and ABC on TV, they want to share a sing-a-long story line to the listeners.

Another artist that is worth to try out related to this genre is White Shoes & The Couples Company. Combining their preference to preserve 70s/80s style to both their music and stage style, they are actually a very nice example of how Indonesian indie band do not always use English in the lyrics yet their style is style somehow catchy to listen to.

 
Since Annemarie just only had released an EP and an album so far, Annemarie still has a long way to go in exploring their music style. They will definitely be worth to wait, especially for their new release in the future. We might see whether they will break their current style. As they have already gave it a try in their last track ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ with a more electronic elements and soft rock sound which creates a dreamy feeling and peaceful ambience that will probably reminds Korean indie music listeners to Donawhale’s ‘Echo’.

 
Categorizing music is not something that I really like. Yet, somehow I have to do it at the end of the day. Being able to find some artists influenced by tweepop in Koreaby giving a clear-cut is not easy. So, when I have to relate this genre with some Korean indie musicians, there are several artists that I can think of. First, I think about Peppertones. Yes, they are not similar, yet they somehow have some points of giving that kind of feeling. Peppertones’ style might not have all that tweepop but their interpretation of pop through its cheerful guitar and electric piano sound gave a breeze every time I listen to their song.

 
I also found that Donawhale’s ‘Do Re Mi’ might have given the same feeling as well.

 
As recommended by Indieful ROK before, Linus’ blanket might also another artist which might have the element of cuteness in their sound which sounds tweepop-ish too.

 
Some other artists with the tweepop sounds from Korea that have been introduced in Indieful ROK before can also be found here.

A recent addition might have to go to Broccoli, you too. They have a more subtle feeling throughout their songs.

 
This post might not be able to cover all about those very nice music and talented musicians. However, for now I should say that none of the artists is easy to categorize. Annemarie itself, which I have been constantly mentioned influenced a lot by twee-pop, has actually had their own music style which becomes their strength. There is still a long way to go for Annemarie to let their music style grow as time goes by.

More on Annemarie:

4 Comments Indonesian Indie Lessons, part 2: Bubblegum of Annemarie

  1. mellowyel

    white shoes and the couples company are my favorite indie band! awesome that they’re featured here. will definitely be checking out the other indo-indie bands

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