No-No Boy Empire Electric Vinyl LP 2023
1. The Onion Kings of Ontario!
3. Mekong Baby
4. Western Empress of the Orient Sawmill
6. Nothing Left But You
7. Little Monk
There are seemingly infinite layers of meaning to be found in No-No Boy's third album, 'Empire Electric'. You can listen closely to singer-songwriter Julian Saporiti's lyrics, which juxtapose true stories of struggle from throughout Asia and its diaspora with Saporiti's own reckoning with intergenerational trauma. You could also let the majesty of Saporiti's songcraft wash over you, his captivating melodies cloaking those themes in a veneer of hope and ecstasy. But the deepest storytelling happens at the sonic level, as sounds drawn from across the Eastern hemisphere mingle freely with distinctly American instrumentation - banjo and koto, lap-steel and guzheng - while electronically manipulated field recordings of rushing water, chirping birds and other natural sounds ground us in the now. Adventurous and affecting, 'Empire Electric' offers a vision for a new kind of folk music, one that tells unorthodox stories through unorthodox means and finds new pathways through our tangled roots.