Sometimes half a band’s greatness comes from who they were and when. Stories matter in music, and Dara Puspita (Flower Girls) has a pretty good story to go with their groovy garage rock. The Indonesian all-girl quartet has gone down in pop history for their forward thinking music, recorded at a time when women who played their own instruments and wrote their own songs weren’t taken seriously.
With a discography that embraces everything from surf guitar to psych pop, they rode music culture’s biggest waves from the early ’60s to the early ’70s. What’s more, they began their career at a time when rock ‘n’ roll was outlawed in Indonesia. Because it was scene as a western influence, President Sukarno’s government actively repressed rock music, arresting bands and breaking up concerts. Dara Puspita and their friends in Koes Bersaudara were targeted, but they didn’t quit. When things got too hot for the ladies in Jakarta, they did the only rock ‘n’ roll thing and took a gig as the house band in a Bangkok nightclub, a move that ended up launching them internationally.
They toured Europe and released several albums, achieving major success at home. Happily, some of their music has been re-released, most notably by Sublime Frequencies. Check them out. Their jams have aged well, wouldn’t you say?