Songs of the Summer: 10 Hot New Music Releases

From nostalgic shoegaze to pulsating trap, here are ten songs to keep you cool this summer

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7:18 AM HKT, Wed June 7, 2023 2 mins read

New Music is a monthly RADII column that looks at new Chinese music spanning hip hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. This month, we introduce you to new offerings from Charity SsB, Pocari Sweet, Minimalism Garbage, and more!

The weather is heating up, and so are the airwaves.

We're coming in hot with ten new releases to keep you cool through the summer. There's metal and electronica, some folk music and some shoegaze. Read on for the full list.

Charity SsB - Angel

Alternative rapper Charity SsB returns with high-energy single Angel. Expect emotionally-charged melodies, tipsy trap stylings, and sugar-coated vaporwave pop.

The thing that ties it all together is an AI-powered, anime-inspired music video produced by cross-cultural artist Weird Dane.

Shanghai-born Charity SsB is putting the finishing touches on his studio debut, before leaving for a series of performances in Seoul, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

Whale Circus 鲸鱼马戏团 - Vol. 7 - Solareti - About Time And Eternity 索拉里斯—时间与永

Beijing-based instrumental collective Whale Circus returns with new project Solareti – About Time and Eternity.

Based on a science fiction short story written by the group’s composer Lin Xingyu, the soundtrack maneuvers deftly through different genres with ease and poise.

For fans of prog rock, neoclassical, or ambient, there’s no denying the lush cinematic worlds Whale Circus has conjured here.

The Bootlegs - Xingjiapo 星加坡

The Bootlegs have been riding a wave of success for some time. Their new single Xingjiapo, homophonic with the Chinese word for Singapore, continues that trend.

The band’s signature lo-fi pop sound has a retro surf charm and a nostalgic indie feel that’s sure to make your heart soar and your head bop.

马木尔 Mamer - 成 为 切 尔 铁 尔 X ê rt ê rmin / Sherter Solo

Xinjiang Kazakh musician Mamer presents his latest offering, a solo album of sherter music released through Old Heaven Books.

The sherter is an ancient, three-stringed Kazakh instrument. In ensembles it’s often used as a tenor version of its cousin the dombra. Here, however, the spotlight is entirely on the sherter, played with a sense of melancholy, longing, and conviction.

Pocari Sweet - Tears in Rain(就像泪水消逝在雨中)

There’s a palatable depth to Pocari Sweet, the Guangzhou shoe gaze band whose sparkling, floating sound calls back to the heyday of the ‘90s, when bands weren’t afraid to turn their amps all the way up.

Their new EP Tears in Rain, equal parts distortion and nostalgia, is comfort food for fans of evocative, dreamy sounds.

Ὁπλίτης - Τ ρ ω θ η σ ο μ έ ν η

A one-man black metal band based in Ningbo, Ὁπλίτης comes from the warped mind behind existing metal act Vitriolic Sage.

Based in Zhejiang, Ὁπλίτης taps the mythological palette of Ancient Greece to power a heavy dosage of death metal. His sound charges full speed into the abyss, with an almost math rock virtuosity. Both atmospheric and abrasive, Ὁπλίτης stands out as one of the most impressive new additions to China’s scene.

干诱因 Incentive Dry - Stomachville 胃袋里

There’s a strange kind of alchemy going on in Stomachville, the debut album from Incentive Dry. A mixture of brooding alt rock, bookish post punk, and experimental electronica, the four-piece group are as bewildering as they are beguiling.

Cryptic poetry and atmospheric electronic elements cross paths with bleeding guitars for an overall ghostly vibe. Even if not to your tastes, one can’t help but be drawn in.

Run! Novel 短跑小说 - Get Poverty from Risk 贫穷险中求

This Guangzhou band’s name literally means “sprint novel.” Also translated as Sprint Novelle, and now as Run! Novel, according to Bandcamp, you’ll just have to get used to it if you want to enjoy their delightfully offbeat offering of avant-pop.

Vintage synthesizer sounds and jazzy hip hop grooves give the album a lo-fi bedroom pop feel. The whole thing is tied together by frontman Huhu’s near-operatic intonation. Overall, Run! Novel manages to expertly navigate an abstract sound that might easily overpower other bands.

Zilu 子路 - Price of Yaogun 摇滚的代价

Candid and deranged. Acidic, yet poetic. Shanghai DIY genre-smashers Zilu are back with Price of Yaogun.

It’s a fascinating balancing act, somewhere between a hardcore punk artist and an all-too-sincere pop singer. Zilu lets it all hang, exploring new dimensions while never losing sight of the rock and roll spirit.

极简主义垃圾Minimalism Garbage - 0001000

Minimalism Garbage is a techno cold wave act that boils things down to the bare essentials — industrial beats and slick synths blended with a bit of post punk.

Their latest project, a concept album that follows a machine evolving into a living organism over four acts, is eerily relevant as AI encroaches further into our daily lives.

While clubgoers may be more appreciative of the first half, the band truly comes alive in the second.

Cover image by Haedi Yue

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