White Shoes and the Couples Company – Album Vakansi (2010)


Artist : White Shoes and the Couples Company
Album :
Album Vakansi
Released Date :
October, 2010
Label : Purapura Records & Demajors Independent Music Industry

What comes on your mind when hearing these words : white shoes and the couples company? At first, you might think it is a stylish clothing or shoe store. Well, there’s a group by that name offering distinctively unique music concept with many styles attached in it.  White Shoes and The Couples Company is a unique and stylish Indonesian band in which bringing the vintage in to the their modern yet classy creations; from the 70s style they are wearing, their musics, their music videos and their attitudes. Here we go, welcoming this fabulous band, White Shoes and The Couples Company also known as WSATCC with their brand new album released a month ago, on October 6, 2010 to be exact, titled “Album Vakansi” in a very special album launching party at Galeri Foto Antara, Jakarta. (Check out the report from this event here).


White Shoes and The Couples Company was formed in 2002. Aprilia Apsari (Sari) & Yusmario Farabi (Rio) which were the couples from The Art Institute of Jakarta, asked their friend Saleh Husein to join this band. After, Sari and Rio asked a pair of husband-wife, RickyFarabi and Aprimela Prawidyanti  (Mela) to join. And..voila! There they are, Sari as the vocalist and violist, Rio and Saleh in guitar, Ricky in bass and cello, and Mela as the pianist or keyboardist, and also their drummer, John Navid. With their swing-jazzy touch, they successfully cut through the music cauldron. Not only in Indonesia, but also International. Some countries like America, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Japan embrace their musics. Some awards have been honourly given in the last five years. Sari said: “8 years has passed.. whenever I look back to the year of 2002 when this band was formed, I never thought that we would go this far.” All these achievements could also sound surprising for many people, but looking at their courage, spirit and creativity in brilliant concept, it’s really not a wonder. From the start of their journey 8 years ago, we already knew they would receive many things throughout their career, and yes, they really deserve it.

WSATCC_RestoranTrio2010_TandunIt’s always fascinating to talk about White shoes and The Couples Company. This is the band that always know how to surprise their fans and listeners with a seriously unique concept, a concept that might have never crossed our mind before. Listen to any of their songs, you will know what we talk about. It’s the dareness to go beyond limit by taking the vintage music scene like in the 60’s and early 70’s, being faithful with it but somehow could fit so well into the current. They know how to walk in the independent music scene and pour the best of them in it. They boldly capture all kinds of  music from different generations and blend it all to be their unique style, a crossover retro style. They get influences from the Indonesian movie soundtracks from the 70’s also inspired by the acoustic spirit of the jazz scene in 30’s. Moreover, they also present their style in classic strings arrangements, retro disco beat, easy listening, acoustic ballads and also some sounds from vintage keyboard toys that were made in the 70’s. This unique formula works tremendously, placing them as one of top bands in independent scene of Indonesian music today.


Their debut selftitled album several years ago was a blast. The album received good responses both from the market and critics and brought them fast into the spotlight. They were involved in several original movie soundtrack like “Janji Joni” and “Berbagi Suami”. An EP (mini album) was released later on called “Skenario Masa Muda” that again went really well. Their breakthrough came when White Shoes and the Couples Company signed up with Minty Fresh records, an independent record label based in Chicago, and that enabled them to be heard louder outside the country to reach many other parts of the world. In this year, White Shoes and The Couples Company flushed our yearning with going back and brought their latest album, “Album Vakansi” or in English means “Vacation album”. Without omiting their style, like the title said, this album shares us their journey, using it like a suitcase, diary or even the memory box of their experience as a unit. On the other hand, this album can be a very good friend to accompany your relaxing and cheerful holiday.

The brand new “Album Vakansi” consists of 13 songs that will surprise you just like before. Some of the Indonesian music legends supported the album, such as Faris RM, Oele Pattiselano and Riza Arshad. wsatcc11Their presence are strong enough to give more flavours and colours to this album. The album opens up with “Berjalan jalan”. No instrument in this song, but the sounds of the street atmosphere makes this song felt soothingly different. With the unique voice of Sari and the hectic traffic sounds,  we bet you won’t stop listening to this song after hearing it once. The second song of this album, “Zamrud Khatulistiwa” is telling about the natural damages which are caused by us the humans. It was originally written in 2008 to join the compilation album “Siaga Bencana Nasional” (National Disaster Alert) produced by Electrified Records owned by Naif and LIPI on August 2008. Now this song got a new treat. The lyrics remind us to keep maintaining and protecting the nature. Packaged with a swinging tone, this song will take us to the higher comfort whenever we listen to.


Next is “Senja Menggila”. The disco sound is pretty gripping in the beginning. They brilliantly captured the funky Motown tunes in this one. It’s a song that will make you unable to start moving your body, at least tapping your feet instantly. Continue your dancing with “Selangkah Kesebrang”, an energetic groovy song which features Fariz RM, the legend who originally composed anwsatcc6d sang it at first. This song is full of optimism that is captured perfectly throughout this song.  Do not miss the delicious vintage nuance through the flute and Fariz RM’s delightful keyboard manouver.

It’s time to slow down with the mellow tune. “Rented Room”. This song will make us chill and calm in the beginning, but don’t be surprised, because we will hear the pretty beat melody in the last few minutes of this song. It’s awe-inspiring. “Kampus Kemarau” shares the feeling of how love meets hate in the college time.  It describes the moment when the campus that felt calm, friendly and pleasantful later got destroyed by the irreasonable bureaucracy. This is the song that uses the string and woodwind instrument to hold the control.  Sari’s voice plus violin and flute are such the perfect match. This song again shows the delightful vintage nuance in a feel good tune.


Furthermore, White Shoes and The Couples Company brings another surprise for us. Their eighth song from this album, “Sans Titre” was packaged instrumentally. The touch of the acoustic guitar is dominant, plus a monologue of a girl in an empty apartment in the cold and windy Paris in 1978. This one feels cozy and it is also a great tune to accompany you in a rainy day. It will penetrate your day dreaming. Next, the delicious ska fewsatcc16el on “Hacienda” brings you to the cheerful strain and makes your thought wondering away while listening to it. The touch of saxophone also adds more savor to this song. This song was inspired by their second tour to USA. “The thing that came to my mind was, how lovely it would be to have a house right on the side of Pacific Coast Highway”, recalled Ricky Surya virgana. “I remembered a quote from a cellist Gregor Piatigorsky that spent his life to run away from conflicts, he said “Well I am the citizen of the world..I just want to see a peaceful world, and have my house in Pacific Coast until the end of my life”. From there I have been daydreaming along the way while passing through the Pacific Coast Highway” Ricky continued. Hacienda packs the whole story in a delicious tune.

“Masa Remadja” as the ninth track in this album is telling about a teenager story. About the teenager’s wealth and the joyful of the youth. This time, violin is coming back to dominate the instrument in this song. But what special in this song that you will again find the wave of the flute with marimba. This song brings back the lovely memory of us in our high school time. In some ways, it also captures the naughty inspirations we used to have in our younger years. “Ye Good Ol’ Days” is presented in thick swing nuance through the shuffle beat. The title track “Vakansi” is next. As the title which meawsatcc17ns vacation in English, the lyrics and the melody seems to tempt us to take our vacation; forget about all our troubles, leave everything behind, grab the ticket and enjoy the holiday. Oele Pattiselano‘s guitar touch brings the tropical nuance to the max, making this song stands as one of the highlights of this album. Close to the end we  found a special gift capturing the music scene like in the 50’s era, as if it came from Ismail Marzuki. Some words used in this song were also taken from the words existed at that time. “This song is beautiful, it was written by our friend, Narpati Awangga, inspired by the Indonesian jazz in the 50’s, when the legendary pianist Nick Mamahit made his Sarinande album.” Aprimela Prawidyanti said. The result is an instant classic, a very beautiful song that will last in our memory for a long time to come. For the finale, they give “Matahari”, a cute song with compounding English and Bahasa Indonesia for the lyrics. This willy-nilly song asks your body to move because of its tone and rhythms that deeply based on the Eastern Indonesian typical sound. You can feel the joy of beach life, when the children run happily along with the breeze. This song will make you feel like flying freely with no sky limit. This highly interesting song becomes the last for this album.


With “Album Vakansi”, White Shoes and The Couples Company has taken a higher step on their journey. Still using their success formula, but now they brought it into a whole new level. It’s pleasantful, very tropical, goldly vintage but suitable for any ages. “Album Vakansi” is a prove of their limitless creativity. This album will give you the new experience in music listening. Yes they have been in business for 8 years, but we also believe they have only just begun. There will be many more to comes from this unique group in the future, no doubt about it. White Shoes and the Couples Company, has gotten all of our thumbs up and kept surprising us. As for the music lovers especially their fans, pack your suitcases and go to an unforgettable holiday with White Shoes and The Couples Company!

Watch the trailer:


Zamrud Khatulistiwa (2010 Version)
Senja Menggila
Selangkah Keseberang
Rented Room
Kampus Kemarau
Sans Titre
Masa Remadja
Ye Good Ol’ Days
Kisah dari Selatan Jakarta

White Shoes and the Couples Company are:

Aprilia Apsari : (vocal, finger snaps)
Rio Farabi   : (acoustic guitar, vocal)
Saleh Husein : (electric guitar, vocal)
Ricky Surya Virgana : (contrabass, cello, bass, vocal)
Aprimela Prawidyanti : (piano, viola, synth, keyboards, vocal)
John Navid (drums, vibes)

Buy the album at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/white-shoes-and-the-couples-company-vakansi/

For more info, log on to WSATCC’s official website, facebook, twitter and myspace

Written by: Lala Elmira & Riandy Kurniawan
Proofreader: Edria Kosasih