Album Reviews, Indie / Alternative — September 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

REVIEW: Stars and Rabbit – Live at Deus



Artist Name: Stars and Rabbit
Title Name: Live at Deus
Label: Independent
Reviewed by: Christopher Cheah

Elda Suryani and Adi Widodo make up the indie-folk duo, Stars and Rabbit. Hailing from the culturally rich town of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, there’s no surprise that the two are truly masters of their artistry. Formed in 2011, the guitar and vocal driven duo released their debut single “Worth It” which paved the way for their current success. While working on their full-length debut, the duo released their five-track EP, Live at Deus, giving their listeners a little taste of what’s coming their way.

Recorded on the last night of their Suara Tujuh Nada Tour with White Shoes and the Couples Company and Dialog Dini Hari earlier this year, Live at Deus immortalizes Stars and Rabbit’s memorable performance. Elda and Adi toured without a backing band and found that the new stripped-down format was extremely favorable for them and their audiences. The EP starts off with “Summer Fall”, a song that talks about a longing for a fairy tale love, accompanied by moody guitar textures and meandering vocals. One of the stand out tracks, “Like It Here”, builds up to a grandeur musical escapade – however, the introduction of multiple musical elements during the latter part of the song might have been slightly overdone, taking the focus away from the original mood of the song. “Cry Little Heart” – a stripped-back track that continues the sad and melancholic tone of the record starts with Elda exclaiming, “I hate you”. Adi’s guitar work on this song is impressive. “Old Man Finger” is the most musically textured song on the release, and can easily make one wonder how the duo managed to perform it live. Lastly, “Man Upon The Hill” is one of Stars and Rabbit’s most telling songs. Truly saving the best for last, this song grabs your attention with the raw energy and power of Elda’s vocals and Adi’s percussive guitar strumming.

After listening to Live at Deus, one would guess that Elda’s vocal deliveries are heavily influenced by Björk and is reminiscent of powerhouse indie female artists such as Feist and Emiliana Torrini. With a powerful and dynamic vocal range, Elda is the heavyweight in Stars and Rabbit. Adi’s tasteful use of effects on his guitar compliments his refined guitar work. Not to be seen as “just the guitarist”, Adi is also an impressive back-up vocalist who can execute high falsettos with great emotion. Although Live at Dues is forgivably a live album, one would still wish that the production was a little better as there are a few cringe-worthy moments – especially during the build up in “Old Man Finger” – that might make the critical listener uncomfortable. Nonetheless, the EP is a worthy taste of what’s coming for this relatively young yet promising Indonesian act.



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