New Music: Alpine Decline, Yu Su, happy little cat, Merrie Records

Alpine Decline – For the Betterment of Well People

Now based in the sun-baked delirium of Los Angeles, Alpine Decline continues their graceful slide into melancholic indie pop – striking a warmly tender and euphoric sound that comes across like the cosmic lovechild of bands like Simon & Garfunkel, Real Estate, and 70s era psych pop. Remnants of the band’s revere-soaked lives in Beijing still surface from time to time – but for the most part, For the Betterment of Well People finds the band honing in on something warmer and more mellow, flickering in shades of russet and crimson orange. Their penchant for lush melodies and elegiac yet hopeful lyrics cut deeper than usual, touching upon remorse, trust, and loneliness, capturing what they describe as ‘reverberations of primal reality expressed through nature’. Beautifully realized, with the help of long-time band collaborator Yang Haisong and LA producer Matthew Linesch, there’s a hypnotic aura to the duo’s ability to find beauty in the fractured world around them.

现在,Alpine Decline正位于阳光灿烂的洛杉矶,他们继续优雅地转向忧郁的独立流行乐,发出的声音就像Simon & Garfunkel, Real Estate和70年代的迷幻流行乐队的宇宙爱之结晶。乐队在北京的生活的痕迹仍时不时浮现出来——但大多数情况下,《For the Betterment of Well People》是乐队在磨练的一些更温暖、更圆润的东西,他们在赤褐色和深橙色的阴影中闪烁。Alpine Decline喜欢华丽的旋律和哀伤却充满希望的歌词,比以往更深刻,触及悔恨、信任和孤独,捕捉到他们所描述的 “通过自然表达去往原始现实的回响”。在长期合作的杨海松和洛杉矶制作人Matthew Linesch的帮助下,这对组合在破碎的世界中寻找美的能力有种催眠般的光环。

Yu Su – Yellow River Blue

Kaifeng-born, Vancouver-based musician Yu Su dropped her debut album, Yellow River Blue earlier this week with the newly established bié Records. A musical road trip in a sense pieced together over different continents from the summer of 2019 to the spring of 2020, the album is rhythmically lush and atmospherically rich in its influences and flourishes. Fluctuating between dizzyingly busy tracks full of buoyant percussion and rippling vocals and lucid soundscapes full of droning chords that who be right at home soundtracking the underwater levels of Donkey Kong, it’s a diverse collection of songs embedded with an exploratory disposition, keen to take the scenic route to euphoria. 

出生于开封,来自温哥华的音乐人余苏本周早些时候与新成立的bié Records推出了她的首张专辑《Yellow River Blue》。这张专辑在某种意义上是一场,从2019年的夏天到2020年的春天的,横跨不同大洲的音乐之旅,节奏十足,气氛丰富。炫目繁复的歌曲中包含了轻快的打击乐,潺潺的人声,而充满了嗡鸣的和弦的清晰声景会让你觉得在听《Donkey Kong》的水下关卡配乐,这是一个多样化的歌曲集合,嵌入了探索性的倾向,渴望走向通往愉悦的观景之路。

happy little cat – Uphappy Meal Side B 不開心樂園餐 Side B

Guangzhou bedroom pop duo Happy Little Cat return to their irreverent and delightful 2019 masterpiece ‘Unhappy Meal’ – unearthing an array of B-side tracks that hints at the seemingly endless perverse charm of the duo. While their glossy dream pop crossed with KTV-stylized lo-fi alt-pop remains as singular as before, the release takes some truly twisted turns, debasing themselves in a trap stylings (sung from the perspective of what I can only assume is a cat), post punk mania, and dance floor remixes. It’s gloriously all over the place and proves once again that happy little cat are in their own little world – one I can’t wait to visit again in the coming years. #MakeTrashPopGreatAgain

广州卧室流行乐组合 ” Happy Little Cat “回归了他们2019年的有些闷闷不乐的代表作《不开心乐园餐》–发掘了一系列B面曲目,暗示了这对组合似乎无穷无尽的反常魅力。虽然光鲜亮丽的梦幻流行乐与KTV风格化的lo-fi,alt-pop交相辉映,仍然像以前一样有些单一,但这次发行的作品却出现了一些真正扭曲的转折,在陷阱风格(我只能假设是从一只猫的角度演唱)、后朋克的狂热和舞池remixes中贬低自己。这张专辑的魅力四射,再一次证明了Happy Little Cat在他们自己的小世界里——我已经迫不及待地想在未来几年再来一次了。#MakeTrashPopGreatAgain

Merrie Records 美丽唱片 – Expectation of Fireworks 烟火的期许

Just in the nick of time, Merrie Records returns with the last entry in their season-based series of compilations – a deep dive into spry instrumental rock, moody indietronica, and other offbeat sounds – and once again, a perfect kaleidoscope of some of the more interesting developments in the indie music scene this past year. While their winter edition contains already-featured acts like P. Murk, JuJu, DBZ, and Late Troubles (teaming up with Broken Thoughts), it’s the new additions that shine brightest, including the adolescent and wistful Hangzhou emo math rockers Autumn Rush, the slick and infectious electro hip-pop of Beijing-based Diluted Virtual Circuit, and the cool-eyed paranoid-laced fuzz and beat of Beijing duo Naja Naja. A fitting and flawless conclusion to one of the past year’s finest compilations (one I can hope is released together as a double vinyl LP).

就在这紧要关头,美丽唱片带着他们季节性系列合辑的最后一张作品回来了–深入挖掘了活泼的器乐摇滚、情绪化的录音,以及其他奇特的声音–再一次完美地展示了过去一年独立音乐界一些更有趣的发展。虽然他们的冬季版包含了P.Murk、JuJu、DBZ和Late Troubles(与Broken Thoughts合作)等已经成熟的乐队,但新加入的乐队才是最耀眼的,包括充满青春的杭州情绪数学摇滚乐队秋日疾走,来自北京带着顺滑、有着感染力的电音hip-pop,的Diluted Virtual Circuit,以及北京二人组Naja Naja的酷眼偏执的模糊和fuzz效果和节拍。这张专辑为过去一年最优秀的合辑之一画上了一个完美的句号(我希望能以双黑胶唱片的形式发行)。

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