Monday, December 5th, 2016

Starlit – Kita Berbeda

Readers’ Week begins with a pop-punk ensemble from Jakarta recommended by Andrew…


Thomas Inskeep: Alternative Press needs to pick up more non-English language music and spotlight this trio from Indonesia immediately. Based on “Kita Berbeda” they’re at least the equals of Paramore in the realm of female-front emo pop-punk.

Andrew Waddell: A tremendously well-paced Indonesian pop-punk/easycore hybrid spun out  over four-and-a-half minutes for maximum catharsis, finding enough time  and space for dreamy melodies, unexpected tonal shifts that manage to  build, not deflate any momentum, and Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer-evoking synths that all coalesce into one of 2016’s most replayable songs.

Katherine St Asaph: Like I have any critical faculties whatsoever when it comes to female-fronted pop-punk.

Katie Gill: It’s amazing how just having a female vocalist instantly removes some of the cloying whiny obnoxiousness that most pop-punk’s partial to, mostly due to the inevitable whiny male vocal timbre. Add in some AMAZING keyboards and just sign me up for the Starlit train; I am 100 per cent here for this.

Iain Mew: They label themselves as pop-punk and get immediacy and simple thrills right, but “Kita Berbeda” is also a song done with the scale and dramatic flair of emo. And by the time they’ve built the layers of guitar and second singer roars in, they’re a joyful thing of their own.

Ramzi Awn: The magic’s in the mix on “Kita Berbeda,” a twinkling production with surprising passion. 

Jonathan Bradley: In the days since its hegemonic 1990s, pop-punk has become as formalized as a twelve-bar blues, but that’s to its benefit: the joy is in the proficiency of its realization. Starlit, much like Tonight Alive or Kicking Daisies, wanders down the “Ocean Avenue” end of the genre, but this is a tight space defined at the edges by the nouveau-Blink-182ism of Chumped and the working class emo of The Wonder Years. Palm-mute guitar, aching choruses, and moshpit-quick drum beats will always find a welcome place in my heart though, and if it comes with fizzy and chirping synth line, all the better.

Tim de Reuse: An authentic pop-punk romp, sent here in a time machine from the early-to-mid-aughts, but hey — what better year than 2016 to enjoy some nostalgia? The song picks up in earnest halfway through, when the tempo drops from “overcaffeinated” to “melodramatic” and we get two whole minutes of hyper-indulgent, syrupy slow burn. The mix is awkwardly dull and the execution is so doggedly enthusiastic that I feel the need to take a breather halfway through, but I can’t bring myself to dislike its overblown sincerity — no matter how much it all reminds me of middle school.

Alfred Soto: I’m not sure why it’s so long — too much fun? Put the loud synth aside and it could be early Soul Asylum or early Paramore.

Brad Shoup: The drums gradually cede primacy to the stop-heavy riffage and synths that sound more like charting than Crying. Not understanding the text, I’m left with the hard-won posi feeling of the best current pop-punk. The second vocalist pops up in the half-time bridge to add a little modern-rock scuff; it’s stirring.

Edward Okulicz: “Kita Berbeda” is enjoyable pop-punk that leans much more heavily on the pop than the punk, and why not? It’s still got a great galloping rhythm in the verses, and if it sounds like great fun, you should check out how much of a whale of a time the keyboardist is having in the video. As well he should — the keyboard’s the best bit, and the song feels like it loses a little bit of sparkle when it’s absent. I’m not quite to jumping around like a fool yet; the chorus is an effortful chug, not a euphoric release. Still good though, can someone throw a bunch of money at these guys?

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

4 Responses to “Starlit – Kita Berbeda”

  1. @katherine never have truer words been spoken

  2. holy shit the half-time breakdown, i’m in love

  3. this sounds a lot like the forecast

  4. but featuring the toy synths of the anniversary