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Yin: Late-Summer Reverb-Laden Reverie from Beijing Indie Duo Dear Eloise

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Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII column 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.

Dear Eloise — the duo of vocalist Sun Xia (above) and Yang Haisong — has been lurking in the background of the Beijing rock scene like a half-remembered dream for over a decade now. Initially formed in 2008, the band has always existed as a studio-only project, a conduit for ideas and experiments emanating out from Yang’s better-known band, P.K.14, as well as his role as Maybe Mars label head and one of the Chinese rock scene’s most prolific producers. Their sound is blurry and warm, heavily distorted, pierced throughout with Sun’s signature sweet-melancholy lyrical flourish.

The band’s just come out with their fifth album, They Slipped Away From My Mind Just Like This, and it’s just the late-summer reverb-laden reverie you might need to knuckle through the rest of August. My personal favorite on the album is a transcendent, drawn-out cover of “Control,” the rousing festival anthem that kicks off Xi’an band FAZI‘s sophomore album The Root of Innocence (produced by Yang, naturally — FAZI is one band that he has taken particular pains to mentor):

 

From the liner notes:

A tense edge permeates even Sun Xia’s most saccharine vocal moments, but the band’s somber poetics are only one flower in the bouquet, not the dominant element. Their sound on this album is as dense and engrossing as ever, a deep hedge of lush, sculpted noise to lose yourself in listen after listen. 

Stream/buy They Slipped Away From My Mind Just Like This by Dear Eloise at the Maybe Mars Bandcamp. Digital only for now, but the album will soon be released in the form of five-7″ box set, and they’ll probably sell fast, so keep refreshing that page.

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Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a Shanghai-based writer and musician, and RADII's Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, Artsy, LEAP, Tiny Mix Tapes, 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.