Last month, I had written about the Beijing-based trio Nova Heart and “Lackluster No.,” the first single off the Chinese trio’s self-titled full-length debut, slated for an October 2 release through FakeLoveMusic. Initially, the project started as the solo recording project of its creative mastermind, founding member, vocalist and keyboardist, Helen Fang, a former MTV VJ, the project became an actual band when Fang recruited Bo Xuan (bass) Shi Lu, a.k.a Atom (drums) to further flesh out the project’s sound.
With the release of their debut EP, Beautiful Boys, the trio quickly received national and international attention. In their native China, the trio are a blogosphere dominating sensation, as their music has received over 700,000 streams of Xiami (the Chinese equivalent of Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud), 200,00 video views on LeTV (the Chinese version of Netflix) and 150,000 video views on Youku (the Chinese version of YouTube). The trio also has the unique distinction of being the first Chinese rock act to be played on Australia’s internationally renowned Triple J Radio, and they’ve received praise for a sound that’s been compared to New Order, Ladytron and Blondie (the band’s been dubbed the Chinese Blondie, actually) from the likes of VICE, NME, Rolling Stone and others.
The trio is busily expanding their name and profile both in their native China and across the rest of the Western world. They’ve toured across both their native China and Europe, playing some large festivals, including Transmusicales, Iceland Airwaves and Glastonbury, as well as dates in several of Germany’s most prestigious museums. And their timing couldn’t have been more prescient, as this year there has been an growing interest from Western blogs — including this one — on Chinese musicians. With the Chinese government typically ruling with an iron fist, it’ll be interesting to see how this increasing attention from the West will impact how Chinese artists live and work, and what the impact will be on Chinese society at large.
In the meantime, “We Are Golden” is the second single off the trio’s self-titled debut and the single much like the preceding single “Lackluster No,” is a hyper modern, sleek and seductive song consisting of layers of cascading synth stabs, stuttering four-on-the-floor drumming, shimmering and angular guitar chords played through a gentle amount of reverb, and sinuous bass paired with lines paired with Fang’s seductive, come hither cooing to craft a propulsive, dance-floor ready sound that effortlessly (and seamlessly) meshes the propulsive synth-based disco of Giorgio Moroder with New Wave and post-punk in a way that dimly channels Echoes-era The Rapture but oozing with a raw, urgent sensuality.