Gig Recap: Prairie WWWW, Bayan Dalai (Yue Space 2019.04.06)

The wildly ambitious Taiwanese psychedelic folk band Prairie WWWW don’t simply conjure up images of the grasslands of poppy seeds – they embed them into your noggin with their sprawling, instrumentally-rich, and scared-sounding compositions that entice and hypnotize. Fresh off the release of their acclaimed 2018 album Pan, which found the band diving down the rabbit hole further, electrifying their sound to terrifying degrees, and deepening their mystical lyricism and witchhouse vibes, the Taipei band, known for combining poetry, folk, ambient and tribal elements, impressed the hell out of me last weekend. A mashup of Gang Gang Dance, The Residents, and Chinese indie rock (definite shades of Hedgehog in there), the band, decked out in their own makeshift robes with a treasure trove of third-tier instruments (mini accordion for the win), follow their own wavelength – presenting a surreal, abrasive, and intricately crafted world that’s utterly unpredictable, even going as far as having its lead vocalist sing a whole song backward through some nifty pedals. Even their more ‘poppy’ numbers couldn’t conceal their mischievous and ominous sound that feels ingrained in the band’s sound. All in all, Prairie WWWW is one of a kind band that I can’t recommend highly enough. Let’s hope they swing back through Beijing sooner rather than later. Support from the always dependable Bayan Dalai who seriously needs to get out an album at some point this year. 

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