Ambient soundscapes to put you at ease, post emo rock to ignite the youth, psychedelic indie rock to shake loose with, and synth new wave rock with a heart of gold – lots of new tunes to strive through including these recommended releases from Lastboss, Wonder Sea, Gate to Otherside, and Mosaic.
Self-described as post emo rock Wonder Sea hit many of the cues that have become so popular in China the past few years. From the melancholic nuzzling of shoegaze, the atmospheric building of post rock, and the sincere twang of early emo rock, the young Beijing-based band, still in the twilight of their university years, doesn’t stick to one formula and mines as much emotion out of each of them. And gotta say, while their EP于是我们出发 is certainly rough around the edges there’s a lot to like here. They may be finding their feet but therein lies some of its youthful exuberance. Something tells me we’ll be hearing from Wonder Sea in the near future. Bandcamp/163/Xiami
Synth new wave rock gets a sincere love letter from Chengdu in the form of Mosaic’s newest album No Club. The disco-laced synth-happy release, off of Modern Sky, is pretty much tailor made for prom night circa 1985. However, where most bands would easily fall into gimmickry (and believe me they come really really close) Mosaic manages to make it all sound so endearing. Perhaps it’s the reluctance to push the electronic flourishes into overdrive, or just the slacker vibe lead singer Xia Ying gives off (the sailor cap that remains atop his head doesn’t hurt) but there’s a whole-hearted groove at play here that’s hard to resist. A genuine surprise. Xiami/163
Beijing psych rock trio Gate to Otherside who dropped their debut Dragon Bus Terminal a couple weeks back, are the latest band to cash in on the Maybe Mars’ sound albeit in style. The band’s noisy, guitar-driven rollicking sound falls tidily into the Beijing label’s wheelhouse and while those comparisons might end up hurting the band’s clout in the long run, they have one trick up their sleeve. And that’s its contagious almost unfastened mystical sense of fun and rambunctiousness. It’s clear these three are having a ripping good time rolling around in the deep end of indie rock, where the drugs kick in and harem pants are aplenty. Cause after all, it ain’t nothing but a lil rock and roll. Bandcamp/Xiami/163
Find that ambient sweet spot in the latest collection of releases from prolific multi-genre electronic artist Lastboss. The UK-raised, Zhuhai-based musician has been steadily releasing ambient experimental works over the years – four of which – Field/Felled Recordings, Vampire Wars, Jigsaw, and National Anthem – found their way online just these past few months. And while they differ widely in themes and style, they’re all held together beautifully by the artist’s keen sense of atmosphere and audio space. An almost cinematic immersion at play in Lastboss’s work that ignites the imagination and hooks you in. Bandcamp