Gatsby in a Daze – 432
Awash in a humid psychedelic daze and lo-fi jangle pop allure, Hangzhou’s Gatsby in a Daze pay tribute to their lush surroundings with their sprawling debut LP 432. Lucidly laid back yet at the same time intricate in its assembly, it’s an album that’s not afraid to get lost in the weeds, only to emerge sun-baked and self-amorous atop a grassy knoll. It’s a wavelength you either gravitate toward or don’t – just remember to bring some sunblock and insect repellent.
- Bandcamp: https://gatsbyinadaze.bandcamp.com/album/432
- Xiami: https://www.xiami.com/album/nnrzFx90dc9
- Netease: https://music.163.com/#/album?id=85551023
White Elephant 白象 – Ruyi Lane 如意里
Nanjing outfit White Elephant, founded by Ka Liening and Li Wen (both key members of the now-defunct avant garde outfit 8 Eye Spy), bring their unconventional sound to life on their debut LP Ruyi Lane, out on Maybe Mars label. A hybrid of spoken word beatnik poetry that juggles a series of characters and stories with crackling humor and pointed surrealism, it is frenzied punk prog jazz that is cool, jagged, and alluring all at once. The band utilizes everything from penetrating violin strings to sermon-leading synths to create a strange and perplexing world that’s seeped in vivid theatricality and hard to shake off.
Loft Beach – Anywhere
Shanghai Britpop enablers Loft Beach bring their bubbly boyish charm to the forefront on their lightweight debut LP Anywhere. Riding charismatically between surf pop nostalgia, sun-soaked city pop grooves, and good ol’ fashion Oasis-aping Britpop – the band may lack the bite to cross over into rock and roll’s more rambunctious scenes, but there’s no denying the swag, catchiness and old school allure the young band is able to conjure time to time. Perhaps a bit too precious for some, these kids are going to be a hit with young audiences.
- Netease: https://music.163.com/#/album?id=86399581
- QQ: https://y.qq.com/n/yqq/album/004Xbwl22e4kXn.html
Guiguisuisui – 33 Trees 三十三树
The ever eclectic occult synth-doom duo Guiguisuisui look inwards on their latest – a 20-minute sprawling ambient piece that finds the artists compiling their travels around the world – ‘through forests, mountains, and temples’ – into an audio-visual journey that’s akin to a sacrificial ceremony, or perhaps a plea to the netherworld to snuff out the sins of our planet. Canvassing across heavily processed guitars, downtempo beats, moody bass tones, haunting drones and mystifying hymns, the release also features the vocals of Chinese-born Japan-based artist Dian, who instills a brief window of beauty and otherworldly tranquility in the midst of the storm.
- Bandcamp: https://guiguisuisui.bandcamp.com/