As with all Organ Tapes releases, Zha’s vocals on Chang Zhe Na Wu Ren Wen Jin De Ge Yao are obfuscated by an virtually impenetrable digital haze, every phrase phasing out and in like a thought on the very fringe of changing into. His lyrics are sometimes indecipherable, however often you may make out transient silhouettes of which means within the fog. On “Submission”—a brightly strummed acoustic chant that feels prefer it got here from the identical shimmering world as yeule’s “Don’t Be So Exhausting on Your Personal Magnificence”—Zha softly declares,“I used to be younger, and I stated I’d change as I lived and I listened,” seemingly reflecting on his personal development. Solely later does he modify the road right into a repentant confession: “I used to be younger, and I stated I’d change, and I did, and I didn’t.” Elsewhere, Zha lets his samples communicate for him; “Ultimately He Will Come Into My Life” pulls a quote from the 2014 movie Wealthy Hill, a documentary chronicling rural Missouri teenagers looking for hope within the face of abject poverty. “I reward God and I worship him, and I pray to him each evening,” a boy’s voice quivers towards a glimmering, cybernetic drone. “Nothing’s got here, however that ain’t gonna cease me.” Zha casts this second as a solemn epigraph for your complete document—a portrait of personal, mundane religion, pleading for some intangible salvation.
Lyrical moments like these could act as dowsing rods for Zha’s thematic intentions, however one in all his best strengths is how a lot he’s in a position to convey by means of sound and inflection alone. On “By no means Had,” Zha builds a withered R&B lament round a distant guitar pattern cloaked in crinkling distortion, chopping the devices out and in as he layers his sighing falsetto harmonies one on high of the opposite. “Heaven Can Wait” is much more gorgeous: After a superbly sparse opening verse consisting fully of Zha’s fragile voice and guitar, an otherworldly sound collage washes over the track, suggesting an iPhone recording of a road performer spliced with the tactile rubbing of material, with idle chatter from passerby swirling throughout. In Zha’s fingers, this second comes off like a triumphant solo, its melody distilled right into a pure texture, as chilly and synthetic as it’s warmly human.
Even on his strangest stylistic detours, Zha manages to infuse these melancholy songs with an aching eager for one thing better. Whether or not it’s within the chintzy karaoke horns that adorn “Acid & Wine” like provincial fanfare or the Soiled Seashores-esqe rockabilly strut he adopts on “Earned,” Zha turns these small absurdities into new refractions of his weary worldview, the place something could be the premise for a wistful lullaby. It’s as if his songs are pleading to fix the fractures and dissonance occurring inside them, each a diffuse portrait of latest music at its most mournful. As with all of Organ Tapes’ work, which may appear out of attain if it weren’t so overtly and deeply felt.