Kaohsiung indie/folk quartet Shallow Levée take the proud heritage of their pioneering folk predecessors, those artists who first pushed for Taiwan to forge its own musical identity, and give it a modern pop-rock twist. Call it Taiwanese Campus Folk for the 21st century.
For many, Shallow Levée first came to the fore in their native land when the single "Excavator," taken from their debut EP, garnered a nomination for “Best Rock Song” at the 2016 Golden Indie Music Awards. With music and words written by vocalist/guitarist Yi-Ling Tsai, songs sung in a mix of Mandarin and Taiwanese, this track and many others drew attention to environmental issues and those related to the rapid industrialization and development of her home city and Taiwan as a whole. For Tsai and Shallow Levée, which is also comprised of drummer Sam, bassist Patrick, and guitarist Hong Cha, music is not only a vehicle for self-reflection, but a vessel by which society writ large can embark on a journey of introspection.
Always melodious and ever of an emotive mindset, Shallow Levée continued their musical evolution (and revolution) in 2020 with the June release of their debut full length The Village. The album takes listeners on a journey through Tsai’s innermost thoughts and feelings, putting them in the mindset of a traveler moving through the dichotomy of the inner and outer realm. The lyrics are poetic and profound, influences ranging from peppy pop rock to the simple yet soul-capturing literature of internationally beloved purveyor of weird and wonderful fiction and non-fiction Haruki Murakami.
Throughout the journey, Tsai and Co. question everything. What is meaning when the world and everything in it can seem so meaningless? It’s a timely meditation in an age of pandemics and seemingly unending political and economic strife, where issues of identity and place force questions long overdue, the answers still obscure and ethereal. Often the best thing to know during such turmoil is that you are not alone. Shallow Levée is here to prove that no one is, and no one need be ever again.