Almost an entire month already into this whole series of posts which stemmed from all those Sinophobic comments made by some Filipino netizens coupled with my personal fascination with “The Sound of Modern China” and then some Weekend Edition article from NPR suddenly showed up on my feed last week.
Looks like more and more folks from the other side of the globe are starting to notice how the new guard of China-based musicians – with the help of Westerners who have since resided in that country like finance professor Michael Pettis who runs the Maybe Mars record label as well as Nevin Domer of vinyl-only label Genjing Records – are doing what they can to quash all stereotypes about Chinese culture in general by releasing records that are more reflective of the modern musical climate while still maintaining a Chinese identity in most cases. One such band is P.K. 14 who I’ve already featured in this series last week but since their frontman Yang Haisong likes to keep himself busy, he decided to form a studio-only side project called Dear Eloise whose name is presumably taken from a song by 60’s British rock group (and The Beatles contemporaries) The Hollies:
Dear Eloise is NOT a 60’s British rock revival act though there is still some Anglophile sensibility in their music, albeit indebted towards noise-pop (or shoegaze if you will). Yang along with his wife Sun Xia had released three full-length albums and five 7”s (one of which is a very limited-edition lathe cut while another is a collaboration with Underground Lovers from Australia) thus far, the latest of which is this year’s “Farewell to the Summer” released on… you guessed it, Maybe Mars. The entire record can be streamed below:
Compared to the couple’s previous efforts wherein they pull off their best The Jesus and Mary Chain impression, “Farewell to the Summer” mostly lumbers at a glacial pace more akin to if Low suddenly decided to record their most recent album “Ones and Sixes” in Beijing with vocalist Mimi Parker singing in Chinese. The album title alone instantly evokes images of people driving and/or walking slower than their usual and being generally forlorn once summer ends and the first few huge drops of rain start falling. Sun’s wistful vocals drenched with just the right amount of reverb and Yang’s sheer fits of guitar noise as heard in each of the album’s songs that fall within the 4-8 minute mark definitely make for a very depressing listen. The album’s cover photo of a deserted street helps set the gloom-and-doom mood even further.
“Farewell to the Summer” is that kind of record (vinyl-only release btw) one just has to put in regular rotation during those rainy then cold months which in this country makes up more than half the entire year.
More jams in the same vein as that of Dear Eloise next week as Brucher who does electronics for GYHT had sent me an amazing compilation album from Nasty Wizard Recordings that features four up-and-coming bands from China putting their own spin on shoegaze sans trademark woes.