Finally, harvest season is here.
After releasing the luminous Daylight Of Spring and the briskly rocking Summer/Fever in 2009, sodagreen's ambitious four seasons project hit a road block. Two of the feted indie band's six members had to fulfil their military service obligations and it was only last year that they were back at full strength again.
In keeping with the season, the mood on this album is autumnal as summer slips away and leaves begin to fall. The use of traditional Chinese instruments such as the erhu and flute lend a sense of melancholy to the record.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Ching-feng's pristine voice shimmers and aches on When I'm Alone: ''When I'm alone, it's like I've dropped into a deep ravine/When I'm alone, it's like the whole world's lies have been laid bare.''
The light may be fading as the days grow shorter but that does not mean it is just gloominess ahead. The Gleaners offers up this intriguing imagery of life's cyclical nature: ''Burning my childhood, burnt my youth, burn out my sunset years/Until we are asleep in the earth, continue to be buried as future roots.''
For a change, bassist Claire takes over vocal duties on the lighthearted Idle Wings, while drummer Wei has a turn at the mic on the more compelling We Walked A Light Year.
There are rich pickings here to slowly savour while we wait for Winter to approach.
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