Combing wry, playful electronica with gentle avant-garde wit and intrepid krautrock, Xiamen duo Daytrip Dormancy (whose members previous projects included Scarlet’s Other Parts and islet) make a huge impression on their debut EP out now on Merrie Records. There’s an adventurous element to the way the music weaves in and out of its winding orchestral synthesizers and dynamic and acute jazz beats, making each song as unpredictable as it is rewarding. And while the intricate rhythms may be mechanical in their demeanor, there’s a warmth to the crackle of the electronic elements as well as the cryptic yet loaded lyricism which makes every word count.
Loosely centered around the story of a beachside collusion and the rescue team sent out to save the stranded souls – Hangzhou’s Cos of Youngs have no qualms allowing the sun to shine through their music, wrapping and distorting the melodies (and memories) buried underneath. With a deep-seeded psychedelic glean soaked into the more cozy walls of sound and dissonance (a given for post-rock and shoegaze bands), the band has crafted an album rich in lore and metaphorical haze – a bonfire that shines light on feelings of struggle and desire through different lens; a dream that bleeds into reality and leaves you with a sense of weightlessness. Each album comes with two veils of Silver Beach sand so yeah – it’s a keeper.
Metal, emo, post-hardcore, and yes, even pop blur together into Beijing-based outfit Awake Mountains’ magnetic and deeply felt full-length debut, out now on TaiShengWenHua. Juxtaposing guttural razor-sharp aggression with the more melodic, poppy and impassioned catharsis found within the genre many offshoots, the band transports listeners into a cyclone of swirling emotions that leaves you pulverized. It really shouldn’t work – and at times the whole thing threatens to collapse under its own weight – but Awake Mountains understand the connective tissue that holds together an uplifting track – the solemn sincerity needed to inject even the more extreme sounds out there with heart.