In 2010 ESQI:EF made a big breakthough with a very successful album, “Anytime”. This follows the first one made 3 years earlier which created a solid start entitled “Buat Kamu”. We called Anytime a breakthrough because it got good result in cross-genre Indonesian independent music scene right from the first time it was launched. Some songs became big radio hit such as the disco beat “Sayang Sayang Sayang”, the power pop “Kekasih Palsu” and the candy sweet bossa, “Anytime”. Well, these songs were released 4 years ago. Many of their fans would wonder what’s next, where they would release the new album and most importantly, what concept would they bring. We have heard about the making process of this album since at least 2 years ago. We have even heard one song, “Morning Coffee”, sung by Syaharani herself on the stage of Jakarta Blues Festival 2010. But the album didn’t exist… until now. If you’re their fan, you should be excited because ESQI:EF a.k.a Syaharani and the Queenfireworks has finally released the third album by the title of “Selalu Ada Cinta” (In English: “There’s Always Love”) via DeMajors.
The first launching was held last Saturday, March 9, 2014 at Driving Range, Senayan Jakarta early in the morning, around 9:00 am. If you wonder why, ESQI:EF thought it would be perfect to launch the album where the single “Morning Coffee” existed at the morning coffee hour. Because of that, the scene we got was different than others, because before the ceremonial show took place we saw everyone enjoying coffees on their tables. You can imagine the scene.
Then the complete team of ESQI:EF came in. Surprisingly, they didn’t talk about the album first, instead they served an early morning live performance. Syaharani (vocals), Didit Saad, Donny Suhendra (guitar), Fajar Trias, Andy Gomez (keys), Sirhan Bahasuan (drums) and Kristian Dharma (bass) were all there looking happy like a happy family.
The first few songs surely set brighter mood for everyone. Then Syaharani led everyone to sit in front, explaining about the third and new album, “Selalu Ada Cinta”. In this morning talk, Syaharani explained that Donny Suhendra contributes big deal in this album as something like music supervisor. Meaning that he has to make sure that everything fit in place. So Syaharani writes, Didit works in the studio, and then the final word would come from Donny, the most senior and experienced figure in the team.
ESQI:EF actually is a brainchild of three musicians with quite different backgrounds. Syaharani is known as an iconic jazz diva, Didit Saad is an important figure in independent music scene, at since geng Potlot. Then there’s an all rounder guitarist, great in blues, rock and fusion besides the other music styles, Donny Suhendra. With the various background of these three figures, plus the rest of the players which bring many other influences, you can take a guess why ESQI:EF never stays in one particular genre. Hence, their music is rich and colorful in style.
According to Syaharani, what makes the ESQI:EF concept rich is that they all don’t stay under just one band. Each of them play in many projects or listed in different bands with different flavors. This fact gives the band plenty of variation to choose. Such evidence can be found in any of their album. Whether it’s Light Jazzy, Power Pop, Acoustic, Ambience, Lounge Dance, Groove, Blues, Soul, Rock, Bossa, the indie music, the sound of the 70’s and so on, that know how to present their flow of taste.
For this third album, eventhough they are still digging up wide variety of sounds, the concept is actually different. Syaharani herself explained that while they still keep the habit of highlighting something retro, this time it’s different. “We did different guitar reamping and so on, so soundwise speaking, it’s different.” explained Syarahani. Other than that, you will find cozier and calmer songs in this album and two vintage swing, scatting, except the album carrier “Morning Coffee” which lies inside the frame of rock n’ roll. Simply put, the ESQI:EF taste can still be felt, but it’s time for them to move into another zone, while still easy listening, melodical, fun and enjoyable.
Following the release of this album, ESQI:EF plans to go on tour, visiting West, Center and East Java.
Another story is coming from the title which clearly speaks about love. When we see this word, most likely our thoughts would go to romance between couple. Well, that’s not their intention at all. Listen to what Syaharani says: “This album is not about people fall in love, but it’s more about love as a blessing. As long as you have, find and feel love, no matter what your condition is, you can cope with everything.” She also said: “In the mortal world, everything will always come and go, but love will always exist.” The album is also made after a very long process. Even so, they weren’t rushing everything at all. Instead, they just let it all flow. It’s some kind of natural process of soul searching, where the hearts of the team go at present time that got translated into music. What’s also important is that every song they make is special. So in order for you to get the message and enjoy it at max, you should listen to all songs from start to finish.
After some more explanations, they performed again, carrying about three more songs including the carrier “Morning Coffee”. During this session they also presented video trip when they were in Banyuwangi for the purpose of making Morning Coffee video clip. We all could see that they were serious in exploring every side of Banyuwangi without losing the fun factor at all. They all looked happy, cheerful and took it actually as a long holiday. The ceremonial tumpeng (a special rice dish that is usually served in Javanese traditional ceremonies or to celebrate events) cutting took place too. David Karto of DeMajors was the first one being handed by Syaharani.
Another thing that hopefully can be felt is that the group is getting more solid than ever. It’s not even a group, it’s more like happy family. So whenever they create something, you can expect good stuffs within. Listen to all the songs in the album, you will get their true heart and trueself, at the most honest way. Once again this album is made as a tribute and love to the roots of music, without taking any sides, served humbly but tasty in ESQI:EF’s cooking style.
We congratulate our dear friend(s), Syaharani and the QueenFireworks for the new album. May this album be as successful as the previous ones, or even manage to climb another height. Whether you’re one of the fans or not, as long as you’re into good music, ESQI:EF’s “Selalu Ada Cinta” will quench your thirst. Music to share, they say, we say it absolutely is, in a very lovely way.
See more pictures:
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Reporter/Photographer: Mia Damayanti
Written by: Riandy Kurniawan