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Falls & Forests to rock Jakarta's emo fans

Marcel Thee

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, January 24, 2019  /  02:31 pm
Falls & Forests to rock Jakarta's emo fans

Growing trio: Singaporean emo band Forests is headlining alongside Japan's Falls in the “Falls & Forests Live In Jakarta” double-bill concert on Jan. 26. (Courtesy of Forests/-)

Indie label Six Thirty Recordings is bringing Japanese emo band Falls to perform alongside Singaporean act Forests at Rossi Musik in South Jakarta on Jan. 26, following its first Indonesian show at Bandung's Spasial on Jan. 25.

Fittingly billed as “Falls & Forests Live In Jakarta”, the show's opening acts include Jakarta's own eleventwelfth and Vvachrri, which play a style of music similar to the bands they are introducing.

The Jakarta show is part of the Indonesian leg of Falls' Southeast Asian tour, which also includes one concert each in Singapore and Malaysia.

The show's concept emerged when eleventwelfth, who is on Six Thirty Recordings' current roster, appeared as the opening act for Fall's six-day tour in Japan. The popular local emo band returned home from the tour, reportedly raving about how good Falls sounded.

When the Japanese band started planning late last year for its international tour, they reached out to Bandung's Benalu Records and Singapore's Lithe House labels, which then reached out to Six Thirty, asking them to host the band in Jakarta.

Indonesian leg: Japanese emo band Falls is performing in Jakarta on Jan. 26 as part of its Southeast Asian tour, following a show in Bandung the previous day.Indonesian leg: Japanese emo band Falls is performing in Jakarta on Jan. 26 as part of its Southeast Asian tour, following a show in Bandung the previous day. (Courtesy of Falls/-)

Falls delivers the self-styled “twinkle emo”, which certainly fits the band's dramatic musical style, filled with uplifting and melancholy moments reminiscent of the mid-90s Midwest emo bands from the US.

They range from a pop-punkish propulsive quality to more restrained and ear-friendly songs that contain a whole lot of emotional purging. It wouldn’t be far off the mark to say Falls would be a fitting soundtrack for a mid-2000s teen drama series.

"It's great to be able to play a show with them here," says eleventwelfth's singer-guitarist Rona Hartriant, adding that Falls was very gracious in making the band feel welcome in Japan. “So now, we're helping each other out.”

Falls has released only EPs (mini albums) and singles so far, with its latest the 4-track Egg Hunt EP that was released in mid-2018.

Meanwhile, Forests has quickly gained steam and respect in the Singaporean underground music community since they formed just four years ago, through their energetic live shows. The trio's growing popularity has taken them to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Malaysia and now, Indonesia.

Forests is a little rougher-sounding than Falls, but that's where any similarities end – which explains the double bill. Their music blends the heart-on-sleeve quality of emo music with some of the rhythmic complexities of math rock.

The band has released one EP and two full-length albums, most recently releasing Spending Eternity In A Japanese Convenience Store just a month ago. 

Preparing for the tour, the band is excited but keeping it pressure-free. “Just pack light, and enjoy the ride,” says drummer Niki. 

“It’s always fun playing your music to new faces and checking out the music scene in the other countries. One thing for sure is that, whenever we come back from tours, we have to step up our game up because these bands from our neighboring countries are so good,” he said.

This is exciting for the organizers, who filled their adolescent and young-adult years listening to emo music to build their earliest musical identities.

“I personally love emo music,” says Ekrig of Six Thirty Recordings. 

“I grew up listening to that kind of stuff. I especially love bands in the vein of American Football, Algernon Cadwallader and other bands that have been labelled as ’twinkle-daddies’ or ’twinkly emo’. I’m always hooked by the jangly, twinkly guitars – after all, I love The Smiths as well,” he said, referring to the legendary British band known for its jangly guitar riffs.

The Falls and Forests double bill made perfect sense considering the music they made, says Ekrig. “They play basically the same music,” he explains, “but Forests is much more fun and youthful while Falls is much more ’traditionally-emo’, if you know what I mean. It just felt like the right fit.”

The local openers were also obvious choices, with eleventwelfth and its dedicated fanbase ensuring a large audience – and because they were the only band under the Six Thirty label.

On the other hand, Vvachrri was a newer band that had just begun making waves on the local emo scene.

“I scouted them personally when we were looking for another opener for the Falls & Forests show,” says Ekrig. According to him, the band – which just released its debut LP last July under Haum Entertainment – “deserves everyone’s attention”.

As for the organizer’s hopes for the concert?

"That's simple," says Ekrig, laughing. “To make enough money back so that we can keep on putting on these kinds of concerts!” (ste)

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