Exposé Online banner

Low Wormwood — We Can't Help Kissing Each Other
(Tenzenmen 046tzm, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-05-06

We Can't Help Kissing Each Other Cover artI first heard this band back in 2008, when the Chinese Miniless label released a live set called 五指 (Five Fingers) for free download. The band was credited as 低苦艾 (Di Ku'ai), which translates as Low Wormwood, so I suppose that's the best way to refer to them. When I found out that Maybe Mars, one of China's foremost independent labels, was picking them up, I was a little surprised — the live set was decent, but hadn't really grabbed me. With this, their studio debut, my reservations are proven baseless. Low Wormwood's music sounds more or less like a folk singer augmented by a full band and an imaginative producer. The vocals are nearly all front and center, and they're all in Chinese; singer Liu Kun has a slightly gravelly, low-keyed voice that some listeners might find off-putting. I find the occasional shakiness very emotional, and I can catch enough of the lyrics to enjoy even without full understanding. I'm pretty sure that Chinese folk-rock is never going to catch on widely outside of China (and probably has limited exposure even there), but I find this very pleasing to listen to. Some moments are so simple and delicate, like "Little Flower," with just two acoustic guitars and the lead vocal. Others ramp up the volume, adding the bass, drums, and distorted electric guitar. And there are electronic touches, like voices recorded off the radio and the like, that really contribute to the atmosphere and lend a hint of psychedelia. The mood is generally subdued rather than energetic, and aside from the language, never stamps itself as overly "Chinese." In short, unless the language barrier puts you off, this is music well worth hearing.

Filed under: New releases, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Low Wormwood

More info
http://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/we-cant-help-kissing-each-other

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Remy Stroomer - Different Shades of Dust – Young composer Remy Stroomer from the Netherlands admires Klaus Schulze and that can be heard in “Following Differences,” the first track. He chooses the same repeat in tones as Schulze does. His...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues