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Daily Drip

Omnipotent Youth Society, One of China’s Biggest Indie Bands, to Release First New Album in 10 Years

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After years of rumors and speculation, Omnipotent Youth Society have announced that they will finally release a full-length follow up to their eponymous 2010 album. That record’s tales of lower-tier city life set to infectious rock riffs and rousing trumpet and sax lines suddenly catapulted them to fame after more than a decade together, and their significant fanbase has been waiting for a second LP ever since.

Entitled Inside the Cable Temple, the new 8-track album is due to hit streaming platform NetEase in the first few seconds of December 22 China time, in what is one of the most-anticipated indie-rock releases in years.

The band, formed in the northern city industrial of Shijiazhuang in Hebei province in the late 1990s, have regularly headlined major festivals in China over the last decade, but it’s never been entirely clear how much time they were spending in the studio. A new album has been hinted at at various points over the past ten years — including in an April Fool’s post from their official WeChat account earlier in 2020 — but a record has not been forthcoming. Until now.

Few details have been made available about the new album however other than the title, a name also given to a song first heard in public in 2015. The Chinese title 冀西南林路行 is perhaps more closely translated as A Walk in the Woods of Southwestern Hebei, and that track and its title suggest the band won’t be veering too far from their signature focus on poetic lyrics about life in one of China’s less-glamorous areas.

The band’s first album was recently restored to Spotify after briefly being removed, though it’s unclear what — if any — international release plans are in place for this new record.

Update: 万能青年旅店’s new record has a Spotify page (see above), but it appears to be region locked. It is now live on NetEase as well, plus iTunes and Apple Music. Early signs are it’s been worth the wait.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of RADII and Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for the Associated Press, The Wire, the Financial Times and more.