Here are three new homegrown albums from musicians around China on our radar this month.
1. Perforate the Horizon by Deep Mountains
Celebrating their 10th anniversary, Deep Mountains have gifted the internet with an instrumental insight into the mountains of Tai’an, Shandong. The dark folk rock is meant to inspire a sense of inclusion and inspiration, in what frontman Leo Qiang categorizes as a call for “independent personality and brave love.” The album itself is an emotional rollercoaster, covering everything from the gentility of ‘Starlight’ to the post rock, quadruple-timed guitar intro of the title track. Heavy and eerie, some tracks sport breathy lyrics while others are left for the instruments to speak, but if you find their rich sound to be your cup of tea, you can catch Deep Mountains as they tour across China in the coming months.
2. EP by Thin City
Anticipation is in the air as we wait for Shenzhen art-punk group Thin City’s first full-length release this summer. But they’ve given us a second EP released on Boring Productions to satiate our cravings until warmer weather returns, and it just about does the trick. Taking influence from bands like The Fall, Pixies, Hedgehog and Life Without Buildings, their lyrics making fun of “seedy sexpats” utilize the full range of Catherine Ai and Graham Wann’s very different voices. With songs like ‘So Far No Beach,’ their laidback surf guitars make it easy to understand why they’re holding off for a seasonal release. Shenzhen-ren will appreciate the references to Coco Park, Pepper nightclub and other spots around town, in a DIY bilingual drop that’s both punk and playful.
3. 2030 by Lexie Liu
The 20-year-old made her first splash on The Rap of China last year when she finished in fourth place, and was subsequently scooped up by New York-based record label 88rising. Liu’s comin’ in hot for 2019 with the release of her second album 2030. Singing in English and Chinese, the Changsha native’s seductive mando-hip hop follows in the footsteps of her reps, fusing Eastern and Westerns styles in eight tracks that have caught the attention of critics on both sides of the Pacific. While songs like ‘Love and Run’ and ‘Outta Time’ lean more in the direction of pop with a hint of Lana Del Rey compared to her rap heavy hit ‘Coco Made Me Do It,’ all are fun, refreshing and ready to unite any and all choosing to fritter away their nights under the dizzying lights of any club.
[Cover image courtesy of 88rising]