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[Editor’s Pick] In search of lost times

The retro trend has grown substantially in everything from fashion to furniture, and the craze for vintage nostalgia has also hit the Taiwan music scene. To develop a fresh retro sound, indie band Freckles’ guitarist Sue Wei An has spent years experimenting with different styles, such as garage, nu disco, dub, ska and chill-out music. The musician showcases his pioneering spirit in Nobody Island released under the name of his new band Everfor, which includes his brother Sue Wei Bo on bass, Heartones’ Du Yi Xiu on guitar and former FLUX member Li Liang Ying on drums.

Inspired by his hometown of Tamsui in New Taipei City, the album captures the relaxing mood of the seaside city. Strumming the guitar in his signature funk style, Sue brings sunny summer vibes to the opening track Lovely (Track 1), which is accompanied by his carefree vocals and breezy percussion work. Flam rhythm is mainly applied to “By My House” (Track 2) to simulate a brisk walk with small bounces. The delightful Taiwan indie pop sound of the funky rock jam continues in the Cheer Chen-esque “Seafoam Green” (Track 3). The song demonstrates the unstoppable power of youth through hopeful guitar tunes and hard-driving drumbeats.

The album’s gleeful pop style turns into gloomy hard rock in “Kangaroo” (Track 4). Despite the heavy-hearted electric guitar tune, the singer sends an encouraging message: we can hop as far as kangaroos because nothing is impossible. Sue creates a desperate atmosphere in the garage rock jam “The Illusion of Time” (Track 7). Embellished with dreamy synths and Sue’s nonchalant vocal harmony, the fuzzy guitar-driven song takes listeners to a psych rock heaven where the singer struggles between the past and the future. The album is cooled down by the Shibuya-kei-influenced “Flower Vase” (Track 8), which provides an oasis of peace. The laid-back song depicts a gently wavy sea with a subtle glitter of sunlight through relaxing guitar riffs and spacey, twinkling synths. The singer soothes hearts with his calming vocals: “Relax and be a vase / Relax and be a flower.”

The hazy sound filter found in all the songs resembles a mysterious veil of mist that creates a private music space for Everfor. Nobody Island reflects Sue’s personal musical preference: retro music. By blending 90s-style Taiwan indie pop, alternative rock and lounge music, the band embarks on a colorful journey in time that evokes beautiful nostalgic memories.

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