New Releases: New Pants, Chaliangfen, Djang San, Little Monster


Indie pop institutions return with their most , Chinese instruments re-imagined in a rock and roll climate, bubblegum jazz pop to skip to, and explosive noise rock that\’s hits you like a freight train – it\’s the latest LPs and EPs to get lost in including the newest from Beijing outfits New Pants, Djang San, Chaliangfen, and Little Monster. Have a listen.

After a lapse of five years, seminal synth indie rockers New Pants return with their eighth album Because of You Life Is Hot 生活因你而火热, and it is very much a more somber affair. Scratch that – this is a more mature New Pants. One where rhythm doesn’t rule and instead, the emotional melodies become the focal point. And while that may scare off some folks, particularly those accustomed to the anarchistic spirit of the band (including myself), there’s something satisfying about a band coming to terms with their place in the musical spectrum and looking back with new eyes whilst plowing ahead. Perhaps a bit off putting at first, but new New Pants is starting to grow on me. Xiami and douban it.

Indie pop outfit The CLF (Chaliangfen) bring their shamelessly adorable brand of bubblegum pop on their debut Thanks For The Good Old Days. The Beijing based band, which has been kicking around since 2009, relishes in the youthful summer tunes that are as breezy and lighthearted as they are sugarcoated to the point of nausea. Clearly not everyone’s cup of tea, there’s a lot to like in the band’s debut – from the jazz playfulness scattered throughout, to the sweet yet affirmative voice of singer 茶耳- it’s pop music done with style and class that may even brighten the day of the blackest hearts out there. Check it out over on douban and xiami.

French raised Beijing embedded singer and multi-instrumentalist Djang San continues his world building and lavish blending and reinterpretation Western and Chinese musical tropes on his latest double album, Ai.l, out now. The artist, who already has 52 releases under his belt since setting foot in Beijing, seems to be in his Magical Mystery Tour phase, smearing on a hefty amount of psychedelica and rock and roll gusto alongside the more pristine instrumental tracks which showcase some stellar guitar and pipa/zhang ruan work. A bit overwrought and freewheeling at times, overwhelming in its ideas, both lyrically and musically, but it\’s a big step forward in the evolution of Djang San\’s sensibility, one that\’s becoming more defined and refined as time goes on. The canvas has no limit. Bandcamp it up.

Shanghai noise rock duo Little Monster release their EP debut, a fuzzed up, gloriously rambunctious, noise driven romp that\’s over in the time its takes to cook a bowl of instant noodles. And while it only leaves you wanting more (or leaves you running for the door depending on how much you value chaos in your music) what the three track EP (appropriately named xiao EP) does so brilliantly is capture the raw, unwavering energy of the guitar drums twosome. Plus – lyrics translations in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Rad. Bandcamp.

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