+8 Beijing

We know this main seem egocentric, or even (gasp!) a bit nationalistic… But please don’t hate us. Beijing is just so full of mind-blowing music, we couldn’t resist the pleasure to kickstart our Meridian Music Machine with a pure produce of this city, which Meridian calls home.

Introducing, for time zone UTC+8… “Castle,” by Dear Eloise (亲爱的艾洛伊丝).


About the Song

Find the lyrics here (in Chinese).

About the Band

Hear more from Dear Eloise on their Bandcamp account – and buy an album!
Rock In China also has an article on them. With a photo.
See also their Douban page.

Because laziness, too, scores pretty high among our top-rated sins, for more detailed info we’ll just redirect you to the article below. In all honesty, we couldn’t have written any better: it is authored by Josh Feola, a fine connoisseur of all art forms at the cutting edge of the Beijing scene. His bilingual website & org, Pangbianr, is one of the richest sources of information on everything that makes the capital such an exciting city.

From Altered Zones (06/16/2011):

Dear Eloise is a lo-fi, noisy, borderline shoegaze bedroom-pop duo from Beijing. Though this string of adjectives could describe any number of Western acts, Dear Eloise is one of the few of its kind in China, taking the bedroom recording paradigm to its logical extreme: they have never performed live, and probably never will.

Dear Eloise makes private music casually offered for personal consumption. Their ability to fly so far under the radar– quietly releasing their debut LP last year, and even more quietly slating two 7″ singles for later this summer– is odd given that one of its members, Yang Haisong, is the lead singer of P.K.14, which is arguably China’s most accomplished and well-known indie band. Aside from building a massive domestic following, P.K.14 has also blazed trails for Chinese bands internationally, having toured the US, Europe, and Australia, attracting the attention of TIME Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Yang’s passionate vocal performances and deft, poetic lyricism have fueled P.K.14’s raw post-punk outbursts since the band’s formation in 1997, influencing several generations of Chinese musicians in the process. In Dear Eloise, which formed in 2008, he yields vocal duties to his wife, Sun Xia, focusing on creating minimalist pop guitar and drum backdrops. On this track, “Castle,” Yang crafts a simple 4-chord progression that lapses into moments of feedback-as-bridge, while Sun Xia’s rich, reverb-enhanced vocal melody ties the song together. “Castle” is reminiscent of the nostalgic re-appropriation of hazy surf-pop coming from US contemporaries, but swaps that hyper-chilled beach vibe for something that is darker, more nuanced, more intimate.

You can get their album, The Words That Were Burnt, on CD from Maybe Mars, and on soon on vinyl from Genjing Records. Genjing will also be releasing two 7″ slabs, Castle and Hers and His.

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