Old China – Morning Show (2023)

The brain child of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nik Fentiman, Old China traipses across genres from indie-rock and synth-pop to folk and country proving he is not to be pigeonholed. A “lifelong tune freak”, Fentiman has a penchant for experimenting with melodies and creating things that are eclectic and very unique. With a reputation for engaging and energetic performances, this natural talent is building a fanbase from his stellar gigs; however, he is also reaching international audiences with coverage from publications like Artisti Online. The most recent addition to his discography is the EP Morning Show.

Following his debut EP Sack Lunchreleased in 2021, Fentiman breaks a two-year sonic hiatus with Morning Show. Blast into 2023, Morning Show is a three-track EP tossing listeners from pillar to post with eclectic music. From the title track to ‘Sticky Nixon’, you are taken on a journey with elements of alternative rock, indie-rock, synth-pop, psychedelic rock and slivers of indie-folk, so there is something for everyone on Old China’s sophomore EP .

Opening with the title track, ‘Morning Show’ is a mishmash of sounds twirling you about in a kaleidoscopic haze. Ethereal and otherworldly, ‘Morning Show’ is an easy introduction to Fentiman’s obscurity. Yet, while a psychedelic charm, a rock edge slivers beneath the melody adding a bit of a bite to the soothing sensation.

Adopting a DIY approach, Nik Fentiman pens, records and produces singles from his home studio in Holland Park (and, of late, Carlton). Fantastic layers and textures ooze from his tracks not only showcasing his talent as a producer but also his skills as a multi-instrumentalist. The rock bite from ‘Morning Show’ leads us elegantly into the indie-rock tune ‘Cardiotek’. The sheer brilliance of Fentiman’s production brings us a mystifying sonic rollercoaster with a combination of guitars, drums, keyboards and rich vocals in ‘Cardiotek’. One aspect I find particularly intriguing about this track is how all the instruments are offered a prominent place in the melody but ultimately come together in a whole heart-stopping harmonic.

Ending with ‘Sticky Nixon’, Fentiman leads us out in a similar vein to how he led us into the EP. Soft, soothing and toe-tapping, the indie-folk ‘Sticky Nixon’ has a gentle country vibe – ideal considering ‘Cardiotek’ was such a package of chaos.

So, what do I think of Morning Show? In one word: outstanding! Elegantly produced, there is a sophistication to Old China that far exceeds his young years, a sophistication I expect from veteran musicians. Interestingly enough, a rawness nips at the EP’s heels adding an honest elegance from beginning to end.

For more from Old China, check out his Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

This artist was discovered via Musosoup #sustainablecurator

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