If you turn on the radio in Taiwan to most pop and rock stations, the music is much of a muchness. That is why my discovery of Taiwanese rock-pop-folk band, Sodagreen, last year was so exciting for me.
It is difficult to put Sodagreen’s music in any one category, as they are influenced by so many diverse styles, it is not only the band’s music that’s so amazing – their videos are incredibly beautiful too.
Every song has a haunting melody and, even though sung in Chinese, you just know the words are beautiful.
Who is Sodagreen?
Sodagreen is a six-member band that became popular in Taiwan and much of the rest of Asia after they entered the Hohaiyan Gongliau Rock Festival in 2004 and walked away with the Grand Jury Award.
Band members are lead singer, Wu Qing Feng (who also goes by the nickname ‘Greeny’), Shin-Yi Shie (Claire) who plays bass, Jia-Kai Liou (nickname ‘Kay’) on electric guitar, Jing-Yang Ho (A-Fu) on acoustic guitar, Yu-Chi Gong (Zephyr) who plays keyboard and viola, and Jyun-Wei Shih (Wei), the drummer.
All the members of Sodagreen are wonderfully talented but it is really Wu Qing Feng (Greeny), the singer and songwriter, who has given the band its distinctive sound.
When you listen to your first Sodagreen song, you are not sure about it – is the lead singer a man or a woman?
Then you watch the video and, depending on the video, that doesn’t help a lot either.
Wu Qing Feng is a slight, small, androgenous Taiwanese man with the most delicate features and soft, ethereal voice.
Sounding like a masculine woman or a feminine man, whichever way you want to look at it, by the second listen, any Sodagreen song simply captures your heart and Wu Qing Feng’s voice your soul.
How many albums has Sodagreen released?
Sodagreen currently has six albums out.
The first album, released in 2005 was entitled simply Sodagreen and features true gems like ‘Too Late for Regrets‘ and ‘Floating‘. All songs and titles are in Chinese but that, to me, just adds to the mystery and loveliness of the music.
With influences as wide as Chinese pop, Spanish flamenco, American folk and Japanese rock, Sodagreen really is difficult to get a handle on – and that is part of the fun.
Their second album, released a year later includes my favorite Sodagreen song ‘Little Love Song‘ (watch this for the most beautiful video), which I played 100 times when I first heard.
This song also won the Best Melody Award at the 18th Golden Melody Awards in Taipei, and Sodagreen the Best Band award, which they also won again a year later.
Later albums are Incomparable Beauty, Sing With Me, Spring:Sunlight, and their latest album, produced in England, Summer/Fever was released in late 2009.
Every album one has different influences than the one before, as Sodagreen builds on what they already do and makes it even better.
If you are looking for independent music with a different sound, haunting music and lyrics you will never understand but just know they’re lovely, give Sodagreen a try.
The two videos below are a perfect place to start.
I am a Brit-American journalist, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I’m also obsessed with music, anime, manga, and K-dramas. Help!