White Shoes & The Couples Company
Swinging in on a cloud from way out, White Shoes and the Couples Company are bringing their mix of orchestral pieces, clap-along pop tunes, and dandelion-delicate love songs to the United States for the very first time. Not that a few people in the U.S. haven't already taken notice; White Shoes was named one of the Top 25 Bands on MySpace by Rolling Stone and One of the Most Crushworthy Bands of 2006 by AllMusic.com. Their self-titled debut is due out on Minty Fresh as a digital release on September 25th and on CD in October. Hailing from Indonesia, this sextet makes pop songs that you'd be excused for thinking had come straight off the soundtrack of Katamari Damacy, or a tender Sonny Chiba movie.
Indeed, these former art school classmates (the band met each other while attending the Art Institute of Cikini in Jakarta) cite 1970s movie soundtracks as an influence. No surprise, as it's easy to picture a bell-bottom-entangling embrace to at least a few of their sweeping tracks. Asian directors have already spotted the band's cinematic sound, and have featured their songs in a pair of Indonesian films, Janji Joni and Berbagi Suami.
The songs on White Shoes and The Couples Company are more complex than they appear at first glance. Sure, there are some four-minute, locked-groove sway-alongs. Many others, however, change their rhythms, evolve into orchestral suites, or just simply stop for a bit to allow vocalist Sari to let out a plaintive, lovesick verse. One can guess that it's lovesick, at least, as almost all the album's lyrics are in Indonesian. You may not be able to make out most of what they say, but when the flutes kick in, and they sweetly sing "doo-doo-doo," you'll understand perfectly what they mean.