New Music, formerly 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.
Dropping like a very nice, surprising bolt from the blue comes a new record from beloved Guangzhou indie group yourboyfriendsucks! on Qiii Snacks Records.
The songs featured on 第二集 Episode 02 were recorded in the years between 2015 and 2019 and have been kept on a long list of potential releases for Qiii Snacks Records for a while now. New impetus was given to both the group and the Guangzhou-based label to release the tracks last year, however, when the band briefly reformed for a series of shows.
Guangzhou’s Qiii Snacks Records is Capturing the Sound of Southeastern China
The group has lived on in the memory of local indie acolytes over the years, despite not putting out any new music since 2016. They reformed for a show in Shanghai with bright and poppy group, Peach Illusion, one-man band Smelly Hoover and glitchy, electronified Hong Kong group Kimberley Road Union.
Speaking to the reaction that yourboyfriendsucks! got from a packed crowd at local Shanghai music venue, Yuyintang Park, the band’s guitarist and cornerstone of Qiii Snacks Records, Howie Li, says, “We always wanted to release this, but after we disbanded in 2016 everything seemed to be put aside as we all had other things to do. Last year we reunited for two shows. To our surprise, there were some people still waiting for us to release these songs. So, I decided to finish this in 2020.”
In the aftermath of the group’s break up in 2016, plenty of jangle rock, indie groups have risen to fill the hole left by yourboyfriendsucks! Reference for example the excellent circle of bands working out of Xiamen, like Cheesemind and Kirin Trio.
City Mix: Sound Waves from the Seaside City of Xiamen
Also carving out a space within that particular niche, indie labels like Boring Productions from Shenzhen, Shengjian Records in Shanghai and Letter Records, also from Shanghai, have populated Chinese summers with delightful indie pop for over the past few years.
With that said, nostalgia and longing for the return of yourboyfriendsucks! has maintained and the five tracks on 第二集 Episode 02 are a reminder as to why they have enjoyed so much popularity.
Jumping back and forth between English, Chinese and German lyrics, notable tracks on the release include “House Music,” which combines a bright, upbeat guitar line with softly understated vocals, and the release’s opener, “3000-Mile Run,” which begins with a minute of uninterrupted feedback.
Listen to, and buy, yourboyfriendsucks!’ 第二集 Episode 02 on Bandcamp here.
Cover image courtesy of Nikki Zeng Photography; Weibo: NikkiNikkiZ; Instagram: nikkiiiz
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