Beijing’s 16 Mins have always been a brooding, cerebral band.
Their last album, “The Erlking”, took its title from a Goethe poem, and their lyrics often weave complex tapestries of images and allusions – “psych-folk” that is psych-ological rather than psych-edelic.
The songs on their new EP “Ping Pong”, however, appear to be directed outwards rather than inwards. On standout track “Amin”, vocalist Jiao Siyu sings: “We live in a crowded desert / old enough to feel the fear of loss.”
It seems to channel the anxieties and complications of what has been a strange year, and takes 16 Mins’ sound down a haze-covered alleyway, with a new-found penchant for loopy, syncopated rhythm lines.
It’s almost cozy, a little blanket of warmth against a smoggy world. Music for days when the AQI crosses 200.