MV Monday: Hua Zhou, Wu Tiao Ren, Atom x The Go! Team, Tong Yan


Alright, straight up music videos this week – no promos, no tour videos. Just good old fashioned visual get-ups for some of this years’ newest releases, including two up and coming folk artists, Hua Zhou and Tong Yan, one from seasoned veterans from down south, Wu Tiao Ren, and an crazy awesome collaboration between international sensations The Go! Team and one of Beijing’s most beloved musicians, Atom. Check it all out.

Here’s one that seamlessly popped out of no way – much beloved Brit smorgasbord indietronica outfit The Go! Team recently released their forth album last month to positive reception, despite the band losing just about all it’s members. The album includes a slew of guest vocal appearances, and one that came as a shock to me was Shi Lu, aka Atom, the drummer of Hedgehog and Nova Heart. How and when this went down is beyond me, but it’s truly a thing of beauty and a match made in heaven as evident on ‘Did You Know’, a sugarcoated angst-ridden pop song that would have fit in the 60s oh so well. The music video features Atom getting all moody on the phone and giving audiences a tour of Beijing. Really stellar song, and I’m just getting giddy at the idea of a song like this putting Atom in the (much deserved) spotlight. Kudos.

The Guangzhou-based folk outfit Wu Tiao Ren, who hail from Haifeng, Guangdong, have been playing their folky guitar and accordion tunes, often in their native Haifeng dialect (the least spoken language among the three major dialects in Guangdong province), since 2003. They continue bringing their dusty poetic rural charm on their latest, Canton Girl as well as this nifty music video for ‘Drink Like the Generals’ – a trippy inebriated culture clash of traditional and modern times where all that has remained constant has been getting smashed. Looks like my kind of party. The band is going all out promotion-wise and for good reason, they will be playing at Mako Livehouse this Friday 8th – a rarity for these guys.

Folk artist Tong Yan has been jumping around the country trying to find her place. First, a resident of Dalian, the artist moved to Beijing in 2006 where she became a fixture in the folk scene, eventually starting taking part in the creation of label Peking Opera Blues. However it wasn’t too long after that she headed down south to Guangzhou, where she has released her debut and upcoming sophomore album slated for release this week. To prep her fans, she has released a music video for the song ‘Blue, White’ which follows a dream date through Beijing in the brisk winter. Stops include Houhai lake, that street with Confucius Temple, and the overpass between Dongshisitiao and Sanlitun. Dude likes spinning around. Lovely voice on this Tong Yan though – she’ll be performing at Mako Livehouse on May 10th.

Hua Zhou will be getting a lot of press this week over here. The Xinjiang-raised folk artist is Douban’s first big foray into the whole record label business on their new label D Force Records. I had the pleasure of checking out all the commotion back in January and truth be told, she knocked it out of the park . Frank, tender, and earnest folk music that doesn’t come off as cheap. The first single off her debut, Joy at First Sight, is ‘One Day When I’m Twenty-One Years Old’ and from the looks of it, we’ve got a music video comprised of above mentioned January showcase, which even includes footage I shot. Neato! Though it would have been nice to get the memo on that one. Whatever the case, check out Hua Zhou this Saturday, May 9th at Mako Livehouse.

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