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Less Jonah and the whale, more David and Goliath. Nicholas Ng has the kind of story that became increasingly common in 2009, when the most intriguing new psychedelic bands often weren’t bands at all. A couple of months ago, Ng started sending out mp3s of his Fiveng bedroom pop project, in hopes that maybe somebody out there would hear something they liked and post them. A few local Bay Area blogs did. From there, Ng’s aquatic lo-fi productions somehow found their way to Switzerland-based blog Delicious Scopitone, and then to Dallas-based Weekly Tape Deck. Now you’re reading these words. And deservedly so.
Amid so many lame attempts to jump the recent “chillwave”/”glo-fi” phenomenon with summer-themed songs and “mysterious” secret identities, it’s thrilling to know there are still undiscovered talents like Ng out there, tapping that zeitgeist of wooziness in their own refreshing ways. The fact that “Jonah” uses nature samples, exotica percussion, heavily reverbed guitars, streaky synths, and Panda Bear-style harmonies shouldn’t come as much of a shock. That the arrangement is so accomplished, though— the song so melodic and well-constructed— makes Fiveng one of those rare pleasant surprises. “Jonah was a boy who didn’t give a damn,” Ng sings, over strummy chords that cry out for a mashup with the Exploding Hearts’ “Throwaway Style”; “All he ever wanted was a bowl in his hand.” As much Here We Go Magic as Washed Out, Ng just wants to see you underwater.
|—-review from Pitchfork
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