The sea, from above. The new album from Dalian Obscure Club ebbs and flows like the waves crashing against the shorelines of the band’s hometown – the coastal city of Dalian in northeast China.

For “Northern Electric Shadow” (北方电影), the band shot some absolutely breathtaking drone footage of the city in the clip called “Lake Intermezzo”, capturing the serenities and pulsing activity of their seaside home.

“Metropolitan Viewer” (below) is the album’s first single, and in many ways its “spiritual index.” It captures the band’s evolution, from the catchy, noisy indie-pop confections of their earlier years to the layered, nuanced, long-form rock’n’roll “prose poems” of the new LP.

The song reflects the lights and colors of Dalian, slowing to capture the calm of the ocean adjacent, and then jumping nimbly back to the stream of buoyant energy that powers the city.

Dalian has long been a semi-isolated crucible for some of China’s most interesting experimental groups, and for those groups to change and reflect and reinvent themselves. The post-rock titans Wang Wen are from here, and have often re-emerged, renewed, with every new album.

With “Metropolitan Viewer” and their absolutely spectacular new live show, DOC have done the same – returning with a powerful musical vision of China’s urban life, and where its cities are head.

Must be something in the water up there.

Stream “Northern Electric Shadow” LP on Bandcamp.


DOC on Douban.

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