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Lonely China Day | Sorrow | review | alternative | Lollipop

Lonely China Day

Sorrow (Tag Team)
by Tim Den

Sorrow is Beijing-based quartet Lonely China Day's first full-length, a continuation of the intertwining of glitch electronica, indie rock, and Chinese poetry first explored on their self-titled EP. A number of the EP's songs are included here, alongside newbies that are much more upbeat ("The Future," "Foraging China," "Beijing Realize"), making Lonely China Day a lot less stoic than I'd previously thought. New to the band's arsenal are fuzzy basses, punchy drums, and even slightly dance-y synths. But before you think their ambient, crystalline aesthetic has given way to The Faint, check out the title track: As still as an undisturbed pond, punctuated from time to time only by tranquil Buddhist percussion. It's at once spiritual, modern, serene, and deeply moving, just how I remember Lonely China Day being.

I applaud the band for trying different approaches on their second outing, but I must say that I prefer the quieter/sadder material best. When the band let the silences say as much as the actual instrumentation and Mandarin prose, a much fuller picture actually realizes: That of the crossroads between Zen and action, nothingness and love, stillness and growth. It reminds one of the introspection that comes with being face to face with, say, the shores of an uninhabited ocean or the open fields of an unpopulated countryside. In other words, some of the most profoundly moving nothingness that life can offer.


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