Under the moniker of mui zyu, Hong Kong British musician Eva Liu (also of Dama Scout) takes the gauzy rhythms of dream-pop and uses them as a foundation in her wide-reaching genre experiments, navigating these shifting landscapes where the border between folklore and fantasy blur and the search for identity draws us into undiscovered musical territory.
Crafting these opaque wonders through the merging of delicate ambient melodies, pop buoyancy, traditional Chinese instruments, and whirling bouts of cathartic emotional release, she has found a way to blend aspects of her own experiences with stories featuring warlocks, fairies, witches, and other fantastical creatures. With the forthcoming release of her debut album, Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century, she seeks to reveal otherworldly details that lodge themselves into the fabric of our realty.
Her new single, “Sore Bear”, is a gorgeous and brittle examination of emotional restoration, of reclaiming person agency and realizing that there are consequences, both good and bad, when we lower our defenses to others. The piano seems on the verge of self-combustion. Her voice hovers somewhere overhead like a divine presence, begging us to consider a larger perspective that we might normally dismiss. There’s a gloriously lo-fi vibe here, as if everything was recorded on secondhand equipment and dragged along the road for a few miles. And this weathering makes the song feel so much more resonant and necessary — and capable of lodging in our hearts for days on end.
“This song is a moment of calm where the protagonist has finally overcome their battles,” she explains, “but accepts there will be more to come. It is about being comfortable with confrontation but also having the autonomy to choose when / if to confront. It’s about protecting yourself with love and accepting that with love there will be loss.“
Watch the Danny Grant-created video below.
mui zyu will play an album release show at Servant Jazz Quarters in London on March 1 (tickets). She’ll make her US debut at SXSW later that month.
mui zyu’s debut LP, Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century (pre-order), is due out February 24 via Father/Daughter Records. Keep up with the artist on Facebook and Twitter.