September 2nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

You don’t often hear “indie rock” and “China” in the same sentence. Particularly indie rock out of Shanghai, which is better known for its punk scene. That’s where Hard Queen comes in.

Damen, Sheena, and Zero of Shanghai’s Hard Queen

Hard Queen is an upbeat, pop three-piece formed two years ago. They used to be Hard Candy, but changed their name–sitting around a Dairy Queen one day–when they realized that too many bands already had that handle. Their sound hearkens back to indie music in the 90′s, i.e. The Good Old Days, with its infectious keyboard licks, female vocals that swing quickly between bored and flirty, and lyrics–all in English–fixated on self-centered slackers, like in the chorus of “Loser”:

Loser, you’re a loser, you’re a big fat loser
Loser, you’re a loser, you were born a loser

Maybe there’s something universal about indie rock, whether it’s produced in Portland or Puxi–although I suspect in China, due to indie rock’s nascency, it’s still got teeth–an idea that’s explored in Up from the Underground, a 25-minute doc on Hard Queen released online this spring. Making music, making a living, making it, and how Hardass Asian Parents feel about their children becoming rock musicians are all touched on in the film:

Hard Queen’s debut EP, Holiday, is now available on iTunes.

[Hard Queen band website]
[via The Shanghaiist]

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