The Jakarta Post
More than seven years after its formation, pop band RAN has taken a leap to a new level with the release of its new album Hari Baru (New Day).
The trio had released their new album digitally in November, but only officially launched the new album with a special performance on Jan. 30.
RAN, which stands for the members' initials: Rayi Putra (rap, vocals), Asta Andoko (guitar) and Anindyo 'Nino' Baskoro (vocals) ' all of them now 26-year-olds, has previously released three albums and generated a loyal following among Indonesian teens.
'The first three albums are part of one chapter of our career. This new album marks a new chapter, which is why we try to be more spontaneous in order to convey actuality through the songs,' Nino told reporters.
The new album contains 10 songs, including three released singles: 'Hari Baru', 'Kita Bisa' (We Can) and 'Begitu Saja' (Just Like That).
Rayi said that most of the songs were written within the span of only a few months before the album was released.
'Unlike many other bands, we don't have a stock of songs lying around for an album. We only write songs if we want to record an album.
'This way, we can express the most current version of ourselves. Listeners should be able to notice how we have changed throughout our albums,' Rayi said.
RAN said that the new album represented a change of concept, sound and look for the band, despite retaining the band's characteristic fun and positive tunes.
'If in previous albums we used more digital sounds, like drum machine and synths, we are more organic in this album, using live instruments and even adding brass-section and string-section compositions in the arrangement,' Asta explained.
Asta said that the songs in the new album covered a wider range of musical genres compared to those of previous albums, ranging from 1980s pop, soul, jazz and funk, to an acoustic ballad.
In recording the album, RAN benefited from the talents of multiple musicians, including five bassists, three keyboardists and four sound engineers, to generate a different atmosphere with each song.
RAN was formed in mid-November 2006, after the boys graduated from the same high school in South Jakarta.
The first song they wrote, titled 'Pandangan Pertama' (First Sight), was noticed by producer Dondy Sudjono, who passed their demo onto Universal Music Indonesia. RAN signed with the label and released their debut album For Your Life in 2008.
RAN's music quickly met the screaming embrace of tweens and young adults with its highly infectious head-bopping carefree tunes and pop beats accompanying lyrics about puppy love.
Nino said that RAN members felt they were past the age to sing teenage love songs and wanted to progress to more mature lyrics.
'We challenged ourselves in writing the album by banning the use of the word 'love' and its synonyms. We are nearing the end of our 20s, love is no longer just a word for us,' Nino said.
Appearance wise, the trio is also trying to look more mature.
'We are known for our casual outfits in shocking colors. We are still going to wear colorful clothes but with softer palettes and a bit more formal-type clothing,' Nino said.
The trio said that with the new album they wanted to make themselves available to a wider audience.
'We hope we can reach out to more listeners, not just the young people but older people too. Most importantly, we want to be able to inspire and motivate more people in living their days with our positive messages,' Asta said.
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