Yin: David Boring Drills Deep in New MV “Jane Pain”


Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII feature that looks at Chinese songs spanning hip hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion.

I’m a David Boring stan, not gonna deny it. Their debut album Unnatural Objects and Their Humans was my #1 release of 2017, and I was also a fan of the thematically connected single VICTIMS, released as a supplement last February on Hong Kong DIY label Sweaty & Cramped.

Just ahead of a trip to Austin, TX for this year’s South by Southwest, the band has released “Jane Pain,” a new single + music video that both inflicts and diagnoses acute existential nausea:

A band that likes a good textual accompaniment (Unnatural Objects’ liner notes were an entire book), David Boring has this to say about the blistering new single:

Jane Pain serves as a confessional/ investigative piece representing the banal tragedy familiar to many — the development of a destructive coping mechanism as a response to a profound existential anxiety, and the unwitting succumbence to a repressed existence. The title “Jane Pain” is a reference to two existing entities which both happened to be full names : 1) Jane Doe – a term often used to refer to a hypothetical “everyman”, or a corpse whose identity is unknown or unconfirmed, and 2) A female counterpart to Brian Emo — another character study appeared in “Unnatural Objects and Their Humans”. […]

The video can be read in two-folds; 1) A found footage, murder mystery style tale on revenge/ cause and effect 2) The setting and plot development serve as an allegory to the protagonist’s mental state – a tribute to Gothic literature*(1). The video also celebrates the unsettling beauty of the macabre, the complex apprehension of the depraved, the joys of extreme (repressed) emotions, the indulgence of fearfulness, and an appreciation for atmosphere. In line with the band’s established philosophy and aesthetics, the song aims to invoke emotions that are not commonly desirable, as a mean to commence the thrills and awe inherent in the sublime.

*(1) One of Gothic literature’s key features is the psychological trappings in relation to the setting, e.g. if a character was in a maze-like mansion, a connection was made to the maze that represents their minds

Follow the band’s next moves via Facebook or Bandcamp, and if you’re around Austin next week be sure to catch them WED 3/13, 11pm @ Valhalla (710 Red River), THU 3/14, 8pm @ Dirty Dog Bar (505 E 6th), and SUN 3/17 @ Big Easy (1806 E 12th), where they’ll play back to back with the also great Beijing band 工工工.

You might also like:

Yin: Sickly Synth Ritual from Taipei’s Forests

“Stay Ugly”: An Interview With Beijing Post-Punks Lonely Leary

Don’t Sleep on Hong Kong DIY Record Label Sweaty & Cramped

Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a US-based writer and musician, and RADII's former Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, MIT Technology Review, Artsy, Bandcamp Daily and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.
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