Evaluating Hindia’s Evaluasi

By: Claudia Siregar |

Rising Indonesian hard rock act .Feast is known for their magnificently politically-charged lyrics, banging guitar riffs, and energetic shows. In the midst of the band’s hectic schedule, vocalist Baskara Putra has released his very own solo single “Evaluasi” under the sobriquet “Hindia”, which he has previously described as a “pop song” and “something for everybody” on his social media posts. And turns out, “Evaluasi” is something for everybody. It’s not just a pop song – it’s a story of hope and a public note regarding an important social issue.

Angst. Pain. Many of us have been struggling, searching for a light that will keep us awake – or rather the peace of the night that will comfort us to sleep – and that’s what “Evaluasi” talks about. The song starts off with a sigh, denoting the singer’s exhaustion, something a lot of people can easily relate to. He sings in a weary tone, crooning the hard-hitting lyrics “Yang mengevaluasi ragamu / Hanya kau sendiri / Mereka tak mampu”, letting us know that he understands how lonely it gets and how we’re the only ones who are fully in the know of our emotions and pain. Depressing as it gets in the beginning, the song turns to a more upbeat, motivational direction as soon as the synth drops come in right before the first chorus and Baskara starts hitting the higher part of his vocal range, convincing his listeners that they’re, in fact, doing better than they think they are, and that things are going to be alright (“Masalah yang mengeruh / Perasaan yang rapuh / Ini belum separuhnya / Biasa saja, kamu tak apa”). Baskara also talks about how a lot of people seem to provide support, only to turn their struggles into a competition – the society’s first aid towards sadness and mental health problems. The song finishes off with a comforting, yet still upbeat end, with Baskara’s fading voice singing, “Ku masih ingin melihatmu esok hari”.

As the singer himself has stated on social media, that the song was initially written about his fight against depression and insomniac tendencies, “Evaluasi” serves as comfort food for those fighting similar struggles (a feast indeed, eh? Please don’t mind that pun) and a personal memo to the society. To me, personally, as someone who has struggled with depression, no song by a local singer has struck me harder than this little gem. I am known to write “cold”, technical stuff-focused pieces on songs on this webzine, but if I had to get a bit personal and emotional about a tune, this song would be it. “Evaluasi” came out on Spotify at a time where I needed someone, or something to tell me to carry on with life when I thought I couldn’t anymore, with my ambitions collapsing before me. “Evaluasi” reminds me that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel; that it’s okay to take a rest sometimes. The song reminds me that there are others out me like there, carrying on with life and working hard to thrive and succeed on our own terms despite of struggling with our minds.

Produced by Petra Sihombing and Wisnu Ikhsantama, the song sounds nothing like .Feast – no growling guitar riffs, no chaotic drum beats – just Baskara’s deep, husky voice motivating and healing the masses over colourful-sounding synths (this song in particular tickles my synesthesia right down to the bone), through a particularly moderate-tempo yet upbeat tune. And yes, it’s a pop song – a different kind of pop, but still pop. Don’t expect “Evaluasi” to be a .Feast track, because…well, duh, it’s not even a .Feast number. It’s Hindia, and Hindia’s track only. Selamat, sukses, and keep creating masterpieces!

Listen to the song here: https://open.spotify.com/track/5iezEsWCl1JIyvosnI7vx8?si=gQHYgaH1SnikMuD-vsLVLQ

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