Neo folk goes into the deep end, a Tianjin record label compiles the newest generation of indie rockers in China, a new shoegaze band from Xi\’an, and the latest Seippelabel grab bag – it\’s time to dip into the newest releases to give my earworms a buzz including the newest from Bloody Woods, 20 Years Records, Seippelabel, and Endless White.
Long-standing neo folk outfit Bloody Woods present their newest EP, The Lament – a welcome change of pace for the band as they look to ‘communicate the experience of sorrow and beauty, death and ruin on this ravaged land, coated with nordic tradition, to tell of the melancholy of oriental instruments, of its power to set one free’. Wavering together filed recordings from the bands journeys over the years through various cultures, there’s a distinct experimental edge to their latest – an exploratory, improvisational calling that the band is heeding to. A patience that makes those inevitable peaks all the more harrowing (the eleven minute title track slays). A hauntingly beautiful new direction of one of the scene’s most distinctive bands. Bandcamp
Seippelabel returns with their sixth installment (their fourth this year) continuing to dig up gem after gem in the ever-expanding cross-national pool of artists with ties to both China and the rest of the world. A pretty hefty endeavor but it’s all put together so effortlessly in Vol. 6. As a whole the album has more of an electronic bent – from the breakneck pace of Gooooose’s ‘Synchronization’ to the sultry allure of Nocturnes’ ‘Ounce of You’, as well as the contributions from Zebre Rouge, Uraniborg, and Soul Glimpse. Nevertheless, each artist dives right in, offering a distinctive, immersive track. Seippelabel hit the road earlier this month back in the West with this bad boy, so you can expect the next volume soon enough. Bandcamp.
The shoegaze bandwagon adds a new member to their team – Xi’an’s Endless White. The quartet recently released their debut EP The Day Is Over on bandcamp and it hints at some serious potential. All the staples are there – jangly guitar work, wispy vocals, and sublime walls of sound that engulf the band and enrapture your ears. And while the band doesn’t exactly offer anything new, there are moments throughout the five tracks where you can sense the band forging a new path. A good start to what will hopefully be a fruitful career. Bandcamp/Douban/Xiami
Independent Tianjin record label 20 Years Records puts a spotlight on the budding talent to emerge from the coastal city that sits next to Beijing with an expansive compilation featuring bands from in or around the city area – The Town And The City: About The Day And Night. A nice, diverse range of artists and bands – everything from indie folk to post rock to metal and even salsa gets their due here. Featured bands include 16th Floor, Instant Plasma, The Punch, OurTango Orchestra, 641, Slingshot, The Hangover, My Sister, Desperado, TYTS, Boss First, Lost Control Airship, ZiWu Road, and The Three Quarters Dead. A fine introduction to the tunes lurking just outside our Beijing bubble. Pick one up online here or over at DDC in Beijing.