IN A world so dominated by the English language, it is refreshing when a band goes against the grain and sings in their native tongue. Hiperson, from Chengdu in southwest China, is one such act.
The fact they come from the world's emerging superpower may explain the confidence to eschew pop and rock's lingua franca, but it probably lies beyond any political considerations. On the strength of this EP, Mandarin emerges as a language that is sonically perfect for indie and chimes well with the sense of dreaminess and melancholy which underlines the genre.
While the band have earned a reputation in China for their math-rock/post-rock sound, this EP represents quite a change, as it fuses traditional Chinese folk melodies and songs with a more dream-pop, mildly shoegaze, sensibility.
All these elements are captured on opening track 'Strawberries', where the vocal lines become almost mantra like, hypnotic, while the music subtly shifts from minimalist guitar lines, to more percussive chordal work, before morphing finally into electronica. 'Tramp's Song' has many of these same dreamy qualities, and just floats beautifully from the speakers.
This is indie-rock on Chinese terms and it works well. An intriguing EP, it certainly whets the appetite for the band's forthcoming third album.