Once in a while, an emerging indie singer comes along who is able to raise eyebrows with their magnetic performance skills. Meet singer/songwriter Zulin Wu (吳志寧), whose debut solo album Somewhere (最想去的地方) was released in September to positive reviews.
He will perform a joint concert titled The Annoying Duo (煩人二重唱) with his A Good Day Records labelmate Dadado Huang (黃玠) on Dec. 23 at Witch House (女巫店).
The former front man of the indie band 929, Wu released two albums with the group, and in 2008 released a compilation album, titled Sweet Burden (甜蜜的負荷), of songs adapted from the work of his father, the lionized Taiwanese poet Wu Sheng (吳晟).
“Somewhere documents my romance and contemplation on life during the past two years,” Wu told the Taipei Times last week.
The title track depicts Wu’s pursuit of his music career while many of his college pals have gone on to find nine-to-five jobs.
“My father wanted me to study forestry so that I could get a cushy government job,” he said. “I did study it, but I flunked the exams because I was into playing in a band.”
Waxing lyrical on romance and existential crises, the album delivers musings in a stripped down, guitar-heavy sound.
On the romantic track Secret (祕密), he professes his love for a girl by singing “your eyes are the most beautiful landscape.” Even when he tackles animal rights on Beautiful Life (混血兒), the song comes across as a softly sung ballad.
“I’m not the sort of person who gets angry and shouts in songs,” he said. “Sometimes my mom tells me I need to show more attitude when I perform.”
Wu’s combination of shy demeanor and charisma is reminiscent of Mando-pop star William Wei (韋禮安). At the opening of the Taipei Poetry Festival two weeks ago, Wu mesmerized the audience with a song adapted from one of his father’s poems.
WHAT: The Annoying Duo (煩人二重唱)
WHEN: Dec. 23 at 9:30pm
WHERE: Witch House (女巫店), 7, Ln 56, Xinsheng S Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市新生南路三段56巷7號)
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$400 in advance, available by calling (02) 2362-5494 or online at www.witchhouse.org, or NT$500 at the door
ON THE NET: www.facebook.com/zulinwu and 929.blogspot.com
Though the down-to-earth singer’s output so far has been folksy, he plans to become more adventurous. “I would like to attempt some rock or electronica, when it’s appropriate,” he said.