Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Artist Spotlight: The Good China

The Good China is an eight piece outfit from Melbourne, Australia that has released two brilliant yet almost opposite songs in 2012 titled "No More Maps, No More Roads" and "We Knew That We Had To Leave." "No More Maps, No More Roads" is a song about uncertainty and having no where to turn, but after listening to the song you will be certain that it is one of the top tracks of the year.

The song combines Built to Spill like vivid imagery that makes you feel like you are in the artist shoes (feeling like you have no more maps or roads to go down) and a frantic yet calming blend of multiple instruments that match the hopeless lyrics perfectly.  The lyrics and the instrumentation produce a calming atmosphere; an atmosphere that says even though the singer is lost it is "okay" because when he finds his map or road he will be in a better place than ever was before.  The song makes you feel like even though the narrator has run out of maps and roads, that he will find a map or road soon that will lead him to where he has always needed to be.  The calming yet frantic instrumentation, the vivid imagery and detailed lyrics, and the almost half screaming at the end of the song makes you believe that even though this is a pressing and depressing manner that it will be worth it in the end.  He doesn't even  have a map to get him to the road he is supposed to go down, but he is happy to have the opportunity to even search for the right map.  The magic of "No More Maps, No More Roads" is that even though it could be interpreted as three minutes and 21 seconds of utter misery and hopelessness, that in this misery and hopelessness comes one of the most hopeful, beautiful, and optimistic songs of the year so far.

Between the recording of "No More Maps, No More Roads" and "We Knew That We Had To Leave" the band found a musical map and it is leading them down to a new yet equally intriguing road. "We Knew That We Had To Lead" is more Los Campesinos! than Lumineers, more Fun. than the Fleet Foxes, and more Brand New than Band of Horses.  Even with the bands new "party pop-punk" style they still have great imagery, detail, and wit in their lyrics ("singing I'm so fucking indie I don't even listen to music,) the instrumentation still blends multiple instruments and sounds perfectly (even though this features more electronic influences,) the song has a great and soaring background with a great guitar riff that culminates in one pitiful scream, and the song has a dancy and "generation defining" theme instead of the complicated "happiness in hopelessness" theme of "No More Maps, No More Roads."  It is another incredible song from a band that has proved that they are capable of traveling down multiple musical roads, even if they haven't found the right one yet. 

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