Gig Recap: Green Deer, Poetry in Shorts, Green Young, Chainhaha (2021.05.04)

Green Deer 青鹿, Poetry in Shorts 短裤里的诗歌, Green Young 绿色养殖基地, Chainhaha @ Yuyintang 育音堂 2021.05.04

Popped by Yuyintang over the holiday to check in on some new acts from here, Zhejiang, and Hunan (in the area I suppose you could say) – something that I really should be doing more often. It’s always nice to see promising new talent and in some cases, bands that have managed to break through whilst your head was turned the other way. Yup, the scene is always changing, more so than ever, so it was nice to have label/promoters/streamers StreetVoice round them up for audiences’ viewing pleasure. 

The night kicked off with a set from Chainhaha, the Changsha singer-songwriter who brings a lo-fi spunk to her poppish tunes – buoyantly carousels from bubbly electronica to prickly power pop – some Bjork-esque beat-heavy euphoria and some hard-hitting hip hop. It’s a bit all over the place, and it’s clear the young artist needs to refine her set – or better yet, expand into a band – but I really think she’s tapping into something special. One to keep an eye on. 

Green Young have been kicking around for a couple of years, borne out of the campuses of Shanghai, and while it’s a bit too autumnal for me, they’ve got the chops. Earnest, guitar-driven easy-going rock and roll that’s never too demanding yet robust and . It’s nice to see a female singer with a strong deep voice – something missing in a lot of female-fronted bands these days. They’re still a bit rough around the edges, but it’s clear Green Young are going to be a big commodity with young Chinese listeners. 

I was excited to check out Ningbo’s Green Deer, who released one of last year’s finest surprises in the form of Space Hysteria. Genre-wise it’s always been hard to tie them down – but seeing them live really shed a light on their emo side and yeah, I’m all about that. With heavy shades of math rock, shoegaze and noise rock – it felt like vintage Jimmy Eat World in many sections – bursting out with a propulsive energy that ignites as nimble and wiry instrumental rock rub shoulders with pitched-up vocals that shake with garage rock vitality. Their set was just about overshadowed by a rabid fan who ran amuck through their set – starting a conga line every two minutes, whipping out a giant flag as if he’d just came from a festival (which is likely), and ripping his shirt off and stage diving. Dude was possessed by Green Deer and for good reason – they’re the real deal.

The night ended with a set from the always reliable Poetry in Shorts – whose blues-ridden swirl of psych rock, jazz, and pub rock has allowed them to churn out one memorable single after another. I already caught them earlier that holiday so didn’t stick around for too long after – and Specters was coming a-calling. 

Overall, it felt good to see what the youngins are getting all worked up about. A fine overview of bands that will surely be making some noise within the next year.

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