Terima Kost Putri: More Than Just Their Name

By: Patricia Kusumaningtyas |

I’m always drawn to musicians who are creative in their naming—this is probably the reason why my favorite musician ends up being Father John Misty, and why I am equally keen in listening to musicians with unique song names (including people like Sufjan Stevens with songs like “Decatur, Or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”). I cannot contain my curiosity when I heard that there’s a local band called Terima Kost Putri—a usual Indonesian tagline in advertisements where landlords are looking to rent out their rooms for women—and that they just released their debut EP, “Metafase.” Turns out, they are more than just their name, and they’re here to prove it.

Imagine you’re a protagonist in an Indonesian teen movie, taking the Commuter Line to resolve a conflict between your friend and your friend’s boyfriend—I felt like that character while I listen to Terima Kost Putri. Their power lies in their versatility in switching between genres in rock, yet still retaining a signature sound. Their opening to the EP, “Masih Penasaran,” brings a heavy guitar sound with its combination of riffs. The song itself tells about a protagonist coping about finding their partner with someone else. The song doesn’t paint the protagonist as a lovelorn sad person like other songs of its kind; instead, it exerts confidence that the relationship will indeed go on. The protagonist just needed their lover to listen to this song, saying “Masih banyak ceritaku yang belum kepadamu / Sekarang atau nanti, putuskanlah sendiri” (“There’s a lot of my stories I haven’t told you / Now or later, you decide”). Among the confidence and disappointment, Terima Kost Putri also added a cheeky sensibility during the outro, singing “Nada minor bukan untukmu, hanya nada hepi-hepi” (“Tones in minor are not for you, only happy ones”).

The second track, my favorite out of all of their work, “Kembali ke Samudra,” is a commemoration of the 2004 tsunami that hit parts of South and Southeast Asia, but particularly brings turmoil towards the westernmost part of Indonesia, Aceh. It starts with a gentle synth and guitar combination reminding us of the sunrise, and kicks us off with vocal harmonies reminding us of early Fleet Foxes. The instrumentation itself is a beautiful yet forlorn combination of guitars and subtle drums, with the harmonies contained consistently throughout the song. On the outset, “Kembali ke Samudra” sounds beautiful, but what makes it more chilling is its message. Its second verse says “Lautan naik ke atas tanah / Siap terkam segala hal di depannya / Tak bisa bergejolak manusia di hadapannya / Samudera bilang bawa pulang segalanya” (“The sea rises above the ground / Ready to engulf everything in front of it / Humans can’t resist in its face / The sea said ‘bring home everything’”). It shows how powerful Mother Nature is, and it serves as a reminder that however big us humans think we are, nature will always be bigger than us.Their third track, “Berlari Kembali,” reminds us mostly to the heyday of 2000s Indonesian Malay rock. The instrumentation rises up to a crescendo in the refrain, and we hear a unique progression of bass among consistent vocals. The instrumentation then switches at the end to a grunge riff reminding us of those of Pearl Jam; it’s unique how the band could bring two different genres of rock in one song. Finally, their closing song for the EP, “Terbakar Realita,” reads like a rock song with elements that makes the song dreamier than your usual rock song. Their elevated, escalating delivery while chanting “Kulihat dia beranjak / Dan terbakar ia terbakar” (“I saw them standing / and burning, they’re burning”) haunts their listener into listening more. The song itself also escalates into its last chorus, where we hear vocalist Abary reach to his vocal heights. Formed by Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik (faculty of social sciences and political sciences) students from Universitas Indonesia, Terima Kost Putri could follow the rising popularity of .Feast (who comes from the same alma mater). In the meantime, tune in to their music, and listen to the wonders they present.

Listen to TKP here:

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