fbpx
CultureFeatured

Yin: Ex-Super Girl Sara Liu Goes Indie on Collaboration with P.K.14’s Yang Haisong

0

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.

Feeling like the late-summer of Yang Haisong over here. A few weeks ago we got a 5x 7″ box set from Dear Eloise, the studio-only project between Yang and his wife, Sun Xia. And now the P.K.14 frontman, Maybe Mars label boss, and prodigious producer is out with a new, rather unexpected collaboration.

“Endless” is the first single off a EP due out later in 2019 from Sara Liu, aka Liu Xijun, a pop singer who got big on reality show Super Girl and has been in the public eye with a string of five albums and numerous singles over the last decade. For her forthcoming EP, The Beauty of Indie, Liu tapped the reservoir of Yang Haisong’s songwriting acumen to mark a stylistic departure.

“Endless” — released this week on Apple Music — will appeal to fans of Yang’s other bands, as well as the Maybe Mars catalog in general, which is roundly represented here: The Beauty of Indie features Li Zichao (ex-Chui Wan, The Molds) on drums, Wen Yuzhen (who plays in pretty much every Maybe Mars band these days) on guitar, P.K.14’s Shi Xudong on bass, and LA duo Alpine Decline on various keys and synths.

liu xijin aka sara liu pop singer super girlsI’m not too familiar with Liu’s previous work, but the combo of her stadium-sized low register with this dream team of moody Beijing art rock works surprisingly well. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this EP, which was recorded in LA in May and will premiere on Apple Music on September 6, hitting other platforms four days later.

From the presser:

At first glance, a singer from the brightly lit world of reality television and a songwriter from the murky landscape of smoky, underground rock venues may seem an odd pairing. But throughout the history of Western popular music, Indie and Pop have never been distinct, black-and-white enemies, but rather twin traditions sharing the same roots, character, tones and moods. These two traditions pair beautifully on “Endless,” The Beauty of Indie’s debut single. Liu’s fans will enjoy the singer’s smooth, sultry voice in an unfamiliar light. Fans of Yang’s past bands will recognize the moody, melodramatic songwriting chops that have characterized his previous projects, including P.K.14 and his husband-wife duo Dear Eloise.

These two distinctive artists blend organically and naturally, the uplifting yin of a rich, harmonious vocal delivery paired elegantly with the yang of Chinese art rock at its finest and most complex.

Buy/stream “Endless” on Apple Music.

You might also like:

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

Yin: New Old Beijing Gutter-Garage from The Molds

Yin: Patient Psychedelic Mind Expansion from Guizhou’s Run Run Run

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.