Gig Recap: The Valley Surfer (2020.07.09)

The Valley Surfer 山谷冲浪手 @ Yuyintang Park 育音堂音乐公园 2020.07.09

For a band that’s been around for less than a year, to book a five-city tour around China, with no supporting band to boot (for Shanghai at least), you must be pretty damn confident in your abilities or at least be prepared to play to some empty venues. I betted on the former and was greeted to a solidly filled Yuyintang Park last Thursday night as young fans enthusiastically received The Valley Surfer 山谷冲浪手, who hail from Fenghuang, the beautiful riverside ancient town that has some dangerously strong rice liquor (my memory of visiting ten years ago is full of shame). 

The band is a loose and intrepid mix of styles that seem to have enraptured the indie music scene for the past couple years – everything from shoegaze to surf rock with hints of emo, dream pop, and straight-up noise rock. Yet it never comes off as derivative. Instead, there’s a robust musicality to their sound that first and foremost focuses on tightly wound melodies and strong lyricism. Chords that immediately implant themselves in your ears and choruses you’ve already memorized once the reprise hits. 

So yeah, The Valley Surfer definitely is a band to keep an eye out for – and with the band making the (permanent) move to Chengdu later this season, it looks like they mean business. 

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