Ian Chang’s “Audacious,” featuring Kazu Makino, Utilizes Deep Layers of Rhythm to Gently Dissolve Emotional Barriers

Ian Chang, photo courtesy the artist

The first single “Audacious” from Ian Chang’s debut album Belonging (out April 24, 2020 on City Slang) features a keyboard line that is percussive in its cadence and synth drones floating in the background like a fog, all while Kazu Makino (Blonde Redhead) provides almost a companion beat with her vocals accenting the melody line parallel to the low end. The deep, layered rhythms of the song allow it to go well outside any pop songwriting conventions which makes Makino’s unique, breathy voice well suited to a song about not hiding behind the usual socially conditioned barriers that prevent direct and honest communication between people. The animated video directed by Qieer Wang brings to the presentation of the song the quality of a graphic novel cast in the visual language of personal mythology and the use of creative visualization to transform one’s own consciousness—it is colorful, surreal and symbolic in blurring any line between conscious and unconscious mind, dream and waking reality, abstracted cultural folklore and concrete existence. And beyond these heady conceits the song and video work as a way that makes an otherwise experimental pop song immediately accessible with its gentle melodicism and sense of coming with a fresh perspective to what might have before been a conundrum in your mind. Watch the video for “Audacious” on YouTube and follow Ian Chang, also a member of Son Lux and Landlady, at the links below.