When we first heard that Indonesian folk duo Stars and Rabbit were going to be playing at Baybeats this year we were intrigued. After all it’s not every day you hear about Indonesian folk bands that do English songs.

Comprising singer-songwriter Elda Suryani and musician Adi Widodo who hail from the Javanese city of Yogyakarta, it was amazing the size and enthusiasm of the crowd that showed up at the Esplanade Concourse for the duo’s maiden performance in Singapore.

“The crowd was so great,” remarked Elda, who answered the bulk of our questions due to Adi’s lack of proficiency in English. “What I just saw, they were giving so much feedback, such a good response and such a great appreciation and we appreciate that.”

Photo by Joshua Tan; MOSHIN’ 2012 All Rights Reserved

Formed in early 2011, the pair’s collaboration seemed meant to be, even after they had lost contact for four years after meeting in 2004 through her ex-boyfriend’s band.

As Elda explained, “I had this material that I thought I could do something with but I can’t play any instrument so I needed someone to interpret what I wanted to say in my mind into music. So I tried to contact him because he was the only one I could think of at that time. Apparently at that time he was also looking for me.”

Indeed, if Elda’s the heart and soul behind the band’s lyrics, Adi’s skill with the guitar transcended the language barrier and completed the words that his partner filled with emotion.

Photo by Joshua Tan; MOSHIN’ 2012 All Rights Reserved

Stars and Rabbit’s vibe reminded us of Spanish songstress Russian Red, who just a few months earlier had also played her first ever show in Singapore. Elda’s unique vocals definitely brought an edge to the lyrics that she sang, and came through more fully when stripped down to a simple guitar accompaniment.

Despite the slight language issues during the set, it was an emotive and enjoyable performance, and the audience duly lapped it up and even cheered Elda on when she choked on her water and took some time to get into “Man Upon The Hill”, one of my favourites.

“I never chose what my music will be. It’s unconscious,” Elda admitted, “I feel like it’s the perfect lyric for the perfect vibe for the perfect situation that can describe what I want, what I feel at that time. I think at that moment I feel like the lyric that I found in English is the perfect word to describe.”

Photo by Joshua Tan; MOSHIN’ 2012 All Rights Reserved

“Maybe one day we’ll have Indonesian songs in Bahasa but I haven’t got the inspiration.”

Shortly after we met, the pair, whose name comes from Elda’s personal Twitter account, had to rush back to their hotel to prepare for an early flight back to Indonesia the next day for their album recording.

“We’re still working on that because we feel like it’s been too long just to have three songs that are properly recorded,” said Elda. “We already have the songs and I think we could make a full album so we’re still working on it, hopefully by the end of this year.”

Whatever the case is, even if we have to wait a while, we’re certain this pair have bright things ahead in their future, wherever their hearts choose to take them.

More Stars and Rabbit:

Facebook: facebook.com/starsandrabbit
Twitter: twitter.com/_starsandrabbit
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/starsandrabbit
Youtube: youtube.com/wearestarsandrabbit

Joshua Tan
Founder/Editor at MOSHIN' Magazine
Having founded MOSHIN' more than four years ago, Joshua remains pleasantly surprised at how a little online music magazine has grown into what it is today. Together with the rest of the team, he is on a mission to bring as much exposure to the local music scene as he possibly can, and sincerely hopes that you like what you see. Although he mostly runs the magazine now, he still occasionally attends gigs and takes photographs where required.