Beijing’s SummerVapour have come a long way in just over the past year when I caught them at School. I guess it was obvious these kids were going to hit it big but little did I know how big. Dreamy indie pop with some sleek surf rock pulp and a hefty amount of sugar-coated Britpop, they’re good at what they do – there’s no denying it. And they’re relishing their moment.
I do have this uneasy feeling in the back of my mind that there’s been a shift toward this retro pop sound (heavy shades of city pop and Britpop thrown in for good measure) over the past couple years that is starting to show signs of running its course. But from the audience’s reaction, it’s clear it’s here to stay for the time being – and having SummerVapour behind the wheel ain’t so bad at the end of the day.
But the real highlight for me was catching Shanghai’s own Flying Game in the flesh. They’re a spry indie rock outfit that could have easily fallen into gimmick but instead inject their sound with sincere ingenuity. For all its pop pizazz, there’s a lot of dynamism in their arrangements and the instrumental chops they’re built on top of. It never goes for the easy kill – they put the work in and it shows, offering one catchy melodic indie rock jam after another. Can’t wait to catch them again.