Premiere: Chakra Efendi opens a new chapter with Morphine / Body by the Water
The double A-side takes the Indonesian-Australian musician to the next level, announced with a handful of tour dates.
Two years ago, we had the pleasure of introducing the world to Sunshine Coast-based 18-year-old Chakra Efendi, who at the time, was debuting their first official single after a handful of demos that put the musician and their lo-fi indie-pop sound as one of the region's most exciting up-and-comers. In the time since, however, Efendi has evolved into an entirely new force, with the Indonesian-Australian musician sharing their debut EP Until The Children Grow Old earlier this year, with a track on Dinosaur City Records' fourth compilation doubling down on their craft of slick, guitar-filled indie.
Now, with their debut EP having settled into the Australian indie-rock canon, we're stoked to present the beginning of Chakra Efendi's next chapter, opening with a double A-side Morphine/Body by the Water and news of east-coast shows across the rest of October into November. The two singles showcase the versatility of Efendi's lo-fi sound and how its incapable of being boxed up, with Morphine tackling a more quick-paced sound lush with rocky guitar rhythms and vocal fierceness, while Body By The Water strips things back, taking a more War On Drugs-esque drawl as longing vocals meet hazy, stipped-away melodies.
"I feel like this release is a great representation of my personal growth, artistically and consciously," Efendi says on the single. "Although I don’t believe that the songs are an accurate representation of who I am now, I do believe that they are the perfect documentation of maturity, providing insight into who I was at the time of writing them. Sonically, they are the culmination of many musical influences from my life, juxtaposing the darkness of post punk and grunge with electronic samples and orchestral instrumentation (C/O the amazing David Versace and Joel Aspinall.) I don’t want to say too much about the lyrical content as I feel it may distort meaning for the listener, taking away from their individual perceived experience of the music."
Breaking down the two tracks, Efendi explains that the two singles reflect two very different times in their life, joined together by feelings of isolation and escapism. "Aged 17 living in Brisbane and studying at university, attempting to cope with the sudden change of lifestyle from a small town high school to the assimilation within a bigger world, my friends and I would find solace in escapism rather than facing our issues. The protagonist within the song is not myself, but it hits home nonetheless," they say on Morphine, before breaking down Body by the Water:
"Having just moved back to the Sunshine Coast after a stint of sub-leasing and couch surfing in Brisbane, I started to feel isolated, spending my days alone inside. Contrary to the regions name, during this time the only weather that consisted was an overcast sky and rain, I would look outside and see shadows moving back and forth, I felt trapped as if they were surrounding my house. This song came from one of those days, written in cold isolation I let the guitar’s distortion channel the emotions that were arising from my subconscious."
Dive into the two tracks below, then catch Chakra Efendi on a couple of east-coast dates across the next few weeks, including two supporting Micra.
Tour Dates (* supporting Micra):
TUE 29 OCT | The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne
FRI 8 NOV | Waywards, Sydney
SAT 9 NOV | Hometowns @ Marickville Golf Sporting And Community Club, Sydney
THU 28 - SAT 30 NOV | Yonder Festival, Imbil
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