50Hz – From Here To…

Maybe the movie should have been called 50Hz I Love You.

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Artist – 50Hz
Album – From Here To…
Website – https://www.facebook.com/50hzsoundsgood/

What is 50Hz, aside from a brilliant new band from Taiwan? Judging from the group’s lyrics, 50 Hz is a symbol of escape. But why 50? — The majority of the world operates on 50 Hz electrical systems. Two of the world’s most prominent holdouts using a 60 Hz system? Taiwan and the United States. While we don’t know which 50 Hz location the band is pining for (UK? Japan? Guinea?) the sense of longing is real.

The band operates on the gaze continuum, clearly falling more on the dream-pop side than the shoe side. Depending on your preferences any of the three songs on this From Here To… could serve as the highlight. For the dream-pop lovers, “Nomad” is the key track. For melancholy pop enthusiasts who insist on rain showers and sunshine, “Road Trip” is the one. For sound and texture maniacs, “Freedom” is going to be the track you repeat.

Despite the differences song to song, the mood on the EP is consistent. Longing is a deep, but calm emotion, and that is the performance the vocalist delivers. She keeps cool at every turn, serving up all the feelings with none of the histrionics.
Naturally bands gazerland get a lot of attention for guitar sonics, and the twin guitarists of 50Hz are no slouches, favoring the drawn out tones of an e-bow, but its the drummer who is the secret weapon here. He’s got a handle on how to flip the tension on and release it in perfect doses.

The lyrical content is heavy on urban ennui. From viewing city life as living in a fishbowl, to feeling displaced in urbania, to living life solely for road trips, there is no shortage of dissatisfaction with, presumably, Taipei. Having migrated from suburbia, spent time in rural country, and relocated to a major metropolis, I can sympathize with the band’s urban ennui, while still feeling like the other options aren’t an improvement. There is a certain alluringness to traveling to the sea, as happens in the video for “Road Trip”, but as much as we’d like, most of us aren’t able to quit our jobs for permanent beach bumming.

Then again, I don’t need to: 50 Hz’ dreams of escaping their city is enough of an escape for me. 

 

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