I’m a little late with the news, but folk rockers Second Hand Rose are back with a new album! they’re known for fusing rock with Chinese traditional instruments and influences, especially 二人转 – a form of local “story-telling” folk dance and song from Northeast China – which you can hear in lead singer Liang Long’s way of singing. fun fact: they’re also known for Liang Long’s penchant for cross-dressing..but only on stage.
‘Fairy’, the first single off the album, has some really lush, sweeping arrangements of traditional instruments (dizi! guzheng flourishes! there’s also a great suona player!) combined with good old guitar/bass/drums, plus the occasional falsetto opera cry. fitting, I think, for a song with a name like ‘Fairy’.
more fun facts: the album cover you see here was drawn by famous Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Xiaogang. he’s best known for his Bloodline series of family portraits, which look nothing like this – I guess he’s having some fun portraying a band known for their stage antics. you can also see the other version of the cover here.