Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander Representation in Music for AAPI Heritage Month 2023!

AAPI Heritage Month 2023 | Atwood Magazine
AAPI Heritage Month 2023 | Atwood Magazine
Atwood Magazine’s staff celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month 2023 with a special feature and playlist highlighting 20 of our favorite artists today! Read more below, and be sure to check out our AAPI Heritage Month essay series for more insights into the significance and importance of this special month. 
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featuring Diastika, Griff, H.E.R., Japanese Breakfast, Jelani Aryeh, Karen O, Luna Li, Megumi Acorda, Mini Trees, Nat Vazer, NoSo, Paravi, Pictoria Vark, Rina Sawayama, Sarah Kinsley, Sunset Rollercoaster, Toro Y Moi, Wasia Project, Yaeji, & Young the Giant!

Celebrating AAPI Representation in Music!

AAPI Heritage Month 2023

AAPI Heritage Month 2023 - Atwood Magazine

Diastika is an Indonesian-American singer/songwriter. She thrives on the duality of her two homes and her two careers. While she is an up and coming singer, she also has a day job as an architect in New York City with a master’s degree from Harvard. Being American born and Indonesian raised, Diastika has a unique perspective on the AAPI experience.

“Hope” is a dreamy song, featuring indie pop singer Gangga. The tracks airy sound and soft vocals gives off a warmth, and just like the title, a sense of hope. This song was released during the pandemic accompanied by a complementary track called “Guide.” Both songs in the series are dedicated to the people in her life that keep her sane. In an ever-changing world, she calls to her “guides” to lead her from going astray and banks on “hope” to keep her afloat. The cultivation of two homes creates a distinctive storyline in her music. Her released tracks are well written and composed, making Diastika an Asian-American artist to watch.

English singer-songwriter Sarah Faith Griffiths — better known by her stage name Griff — burst onto in the British pop scene with her top 20 single “Black Hole.” Her 2021 debut mixtape One Foot in Front of the Other charted as high as No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart and garnered critical acclaim for its shimmering synth-pop production and vulnerable songwriting. Born to a Jamaican father and a Vietnamese mother and raised in Hertfordshire, England, Griff is one of the most exciting prospects in an increasingly globalized pop music landscape. A triple-threat musician, she has performed, written and produced several songs on her own.

Griff’s 2021 single “One Night” flexes her pop sensibilities and talent for writing a catchy hook. The muted percussion and distant vocal riffs adorning the first verse transform into the chorus’ dynamic synthline, pushing the song forward as she seeks to escape the haunting memory of an ex-lover. “One Night” is a perfectly constructed pop song, culminating with a final chorus that explodes into the song’s essential question: “Can I have one night where it’s just me alone?” Griff’s music is essential for night drives or dancing around your kitchen alone with a wine glass and your heart in hand.

Gabi Wilson, known as H.E.R., is a gem. Since her youth she has presented talent and wisdom beyond her years. With two Grammys for Best R&B album, and Best R&B performance for her and Daniel Caesar’s ‘Best Part’–she has only continued to gain experience and success over the years. The half-black, half-Filipino artist has been relatively private about her personal life, however has began to open up to her upbringing and cultural background. Though she grew up in a distinct Filipino household, she says to identify strongly with both sides. Especially being in the Bay Area, she was around many different cultures and lifestyles.Her most recent release “The Journey” is a poignant depiction of her persistence and consistency in the industry. It paints a beautiful ballad of who she is and how she’s grown as a person and artist. Since she started her career at a young age–it presents a newfound sense of groundedness and identity–both as part of the AAPI and black community. Wilson has expressed her gratitude for her upbringing, how its been represented with her as an artist, and the support she’s had all around.

They’re a Grammy-nominated group, known for their juicy, sweet, alternative-pop sound. Seeing Japanese Breakfast live is pure Jubilee, with a saxophonist for “Slide Tackle” and Zauner banging on a gong for “Paprika.” Michelle Zauner, (the singer, songwriter, and brains behind the band,) is actually Korean — when it came to choosing a name, she wanted to juxtapose something that seemed foreign, “Japanese,” with a uniquely American concept, “Breakfast.” And that’s a big theme throughout this artist’s life. Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast fame is also the New York Times Bell-Selling author behind Crying in H Mart. The memoir specifically details the death of Zauner’s mother, as well as her identity as a biracial musician that lost her biggest connection to her Korean culture.

Afro-Filipino alt-R&B artist Jelani Aryeh creates the perfect songs to lounge around and contemplate life to. Combining the comforting sounds of grainy guitars with layers upon layers of angelic harmonies and beats that make you want to frolic in a field Aryeh is blurring the lines between genres creating sounds that feel authentic and divine.

One of my favorite tracks from his debut album I’ve Got Some Living To Do is “The Millennium Express.” This track takes you on a journey through Aryeh’s mind as he grapples with adolecense, identity and memory featuring resonating verses such as “Sweet scent straight from Nepal/ I spent those days/ Withdrawn in my ways/ A modest mistake/ I don’t think that I’m better off/ Somewhere the weather watched/ As my face grew long with the rain.” Aryeh has been teasing at his sophomore album for months and I’m on the edge of my seat to see what the artist does next!

Beyond her work in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, South Korean-born Karen Orolek (better known as Karen O) has been a rock powerhouse in her own right for two decades. From Native Korean Rock back in 2008 to her newest single, “When The Angel Comes” featuring Adanowski, O’s explored the far reaches of her abilities, both demonstrating her critical role in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well as her development as an individual artist. Her contributions the Where The Wild Things Are are perhaps my favorite example of such. In collaboration with The Kids, she fleshes out the atmosphere of the beloved children’s story both with the joy and child-like whimsey of a child experiencing the tale for the first time, as well as a touching, at times heart-breaking nostalgia of a generation who grew up with it. In her 2019 album Lux Prima, she marries gorgeous, orchestrated melodies with the rock edge that really defines her style. Her work is complex, timeless, and a representation of an artist not afraid to grow and experiment.

Korean Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Kim, better know as her stage name Luna Li, is a shooting star is the music cosmos. Beginning her music journey in 2017 with the release of her debut single “Opal Angel” Luna Li has continued to meld the grit of psychedelic rock with the angelic transcendence of wispy vocals. Luna Li shines like a supernova in her debut album Duality which never shies away from discussing the “duality” of both her Canadian and Korean heritage.

This is particularly poignant in her song “Star Stuff,” beginning with a twinkling piano lead-in the song bursts into technicolor chaos with dreamy synth and old school e echoing electric guitar riffs. The track features playful yet impactful lyricism like “I’m wearing a halo, my skin is like gold/ I’m growing, I’m growing, I would be so bold.” Luna Li has also intentionally collaborated with other AAPI artists such as Beabadoobee and Jay Som in the past ensuring her platform is shared with other phenomenal and incredibly talented AAPI artists.

Over the past few years, shoegaze and dream pop have taken East and Southeast Asia by storm; bursting within underground music scenes from Taipei and Seoul to Bangkok and Manila, the resurgence of 90s shoegaze icons, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, has inspired a new generation of alternative artists to pick up the pedals, drone the riffs, and crank up the reverb on the other side of the world.

Japan-born Filipina singer-songwriter Megumi Acorda broke into the Filipino shoegaze scene with their stunning debut EP, Unexpectedly, quickly captivating the hearts (and ears) of both local and international listeners. Fast forward five years, and Acorda has released her debut album Silver Fairy, alongside four bandmates. With hypnotic, gauzy guitars, gentle percussions, and half-whispered vocals, track six of eight, “Nothing / Forgotten” yearns for a love that once was and love that never was. Teeming with melancholic euphoria and dreamy wistfulness, Megumi Acorda captures the warmth and atmosphere of ‘90s shoegaze and makes it their own with modern production, instrumentation, and storytelling.

I recently purchased Mini Trees‘ 2021 debut album on vinyl at my local Rough Trade store, and was blown away by its beauty all over again.  The stage name for Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Lexi Vega, Mini Trees has emerged as one of Los Angeles’ brightest sparks of musical light over the past five years. After introducing her artistry with waves harmony-laden and reverb-drenched music in 2018, Mini Trees released her debut EP Steady Me in mid-2019. Produced by Jon Joseph, the five-track indie pop set is an ethereal indulgence, and a fine introduction to Vega’s creative mind. She released her sophomore EP Slip Away just over a year later, using a more expansive sound to capture what she described as “a series of vulnerable confessions and cathartic realizations.” Featuring the record at the timeAtwood Magazine praised it as an “intimate, ambient, and hypnotic sun-kissed set of songs.”

The same can be said of Always in Motion, released in September 2021 via Run for Cover Records. Mini Trees invites us to bask in the wonder of a sonic daydream as Vega crafts a warm, wondrous, and dazzling indie pop soundtrack to personal growth, connection, and understanding. Born in the throes of existence and pondering many of life’s biggest questions, Always in Motion is a beautifully intimate reckoning – an enthralling experience from end to end, and a testament to the fact that we can explore the depths of life without dwelling in darkness.

Each of Always in Motion‘s songs is a buoyant, passionate world unto itself – full of swirling guitars, driving drums, synths and strings, soaring harmonies and deep grooves. There’s the thick bass that pulses throughout “Cracks in the Pavement,” and the cinematic sense of wonder that penetrates opening track “Moments in Better” and the sweetly stirring single, “Spring.” Sun-soaked and roaring with feeling, “Carrying On” is one of the album’s fiercest anthems – with a dynamic rock beat pushing a dulcet, gentle melody forward and upward to a massive and intoxicating chorus full of cathartic release.

An immersive and dreamy indie pop experience, Mini Trees’ album is an undeniable triumph. I’m so glad to have picked up Always in Motion on vinyl, and I highly recommend getting on the Mini Trees bandwagon before the seeds of her undeniable talent grow into a full-blown forest.

The daughter of Vietnamese and Malaysian immigrants, singer/songwriter Nat Vazer has been a personal favorite since her debut album Is This Offensive and Loud? released back in 2020. Balanced perfectly on that murky, indefinable line between the “indie pop” and “indie rock” realms, Vazer’s music is catchy and colorful, vibrant and visceral, and always cathartic.

After a nearly three-year drought following her debut, Vazer returned earlier this year with the song “Addicted to Misery,” which Atwood Magazine‘s Sophie Severs praised as a confessional indie rock track: “Voiced just above a whisper, Vazer’s hushed vocals smoothly roll over glow guitar fingerpicking and steady percussion as this melody of somber yearning washes over listeners.” If ever we needed proof that intimacy and intensity go together like peanut butter and jelly, here it is in song.

Vazer followed that up with the beautifully tender, achingly raw “Born” in April, and she most recently released the searing “Strange Adrenaline” in late May – a song that coincided with the announcement of her forthcoming sophomore LP, Strange Adrenaline set to release October 6, 2023. An unapologetic and impassioned fever dream, “Strange Adrenaline” is an irresistible indie rock anthem full of tension and turbulence, soaring energy and exposed emotion.

Strange adrenaline
On a desperate road
Waiting for a lift at 2am
Wake me up, I’m ready to listen
One more cigarette, ‘I’m ok’ she said
Keep your eyes on the dotted lines
Like the revelations in your head
Keep you awake all night

“‘Strange Adrenaline’ were two words that jumped out at me one late night, while reading a Patti Smith novel,” Vazer explains. “The phrase captures that feeling of when you’re on the brink of something terrifying but extraordinary.” She describes it as a fast car on a lost highway, searching for the unknown: “Each song on the album is a unique story told through the people, places and memories that have shaken me and stayed with me over time. In the world of Strange Adrenaline, there are 2 AM diners where it’s too dangerous for lovers to hang, long drives back to childhood places, dark tales of Hollywood, recurring trauma, and visions of global warming and the end of days.”

We feel Vazer’s restlessness channeled into breathtaking music as her song climaxes through radiant, expressive vocals and invigorating, churning electric guitars. It’s a spiritual reckoning of sorts – a cathartic euphoria that, for a brief second, lifts us out of our own worlds, and into a dreamy reverie. No doubt the forthcoming full album promises to elevate Vazer to the next level, just as these songs elevate our own daily lives.

Can’t explain it now
With the windows down
With the wind through your hair
Caught a glimpse of the child still inside of you
Laughing as the sun comes out
Strange adrenaline
Feels like I might never come down again
Strange adrenaline
Picks me up whenever it feels like the end

Many Asian people who live in predominantly White communities (like myself) have trouble finding the courage to fully accept themselves. Having to cut out certain parts of their identities to fit in, many grow up as strangers in our own skin; stretching our eyes ever so slightly wider with our fingers as to make them not-so-almond-shaped, and quickly scarfing down our food as to not disrupt others with the smell.

NoSo, (AKA Baek Hwong) is no stranger to these habits — “I try to shut it down so it becomes a low murmur, but it’s too loud sometimes,” they write in their personal essay for Atwood Magazine, sharing how they once were completely at odds with their Korean identity.

NoSo — a shortening and combining of “North” and “South” — is the musician’s clever way of automatically answering the (sometimes) well-intentioned origin question that most people of Asian descent receive from others, “Soooo, where are you really from?”

“Music has always been a tool for me to express feelings I feared would be unacceptable, in a form that’s more poetic and palatable for people,” NoSo shares with NPR Music in an interview surrounding their debut album, Stay Proud of Me, released July 8, 2022 via Partisan Records. Breezy, light, and full of the musician’s inner contemplation, the record offers listeners the space to fill in the blanks that NoSo has written in.

“Feeling Like A Woman Lately,” is a standout track from the project, in which NoSo grapples with the notion of “femininity” and perceived “womanhood” as a trans, non-binary person. Navigating through this confusing space of repulsion and affection, they first sing, “Put the makeup on / A skirt from the costumes / I was once a pretty girl too,” before closely following the phrase with, “Laying on my own / Rubbing off the skin / Feeling so disgusted lately.”

Guiding listeners through the process of sorting through and furthermore accepting the multiple identities many of us are gifted, NoSo’s discography proves that no matter what the world might say about us, we deserve to be loved by others and more importantly, by ourselves.

Paravi is a new face in music and a much-needed representation in AAPI music. Fresh off the line up of Head in the Clouds festival in New York, Paravi has had a whirlwind uprise in her career. While Asian representation is starting to become mainstream, there’s still a lack of South Asian faces in media. Paravi is an eloquent lyricist and songwriter that gives brown Asian girls someone to relate to.

Her song “Broken English” tells the story of her immigrant mother’s strife with the English language. For immigrants who left their home to create a whole new life, the language barrier can be disheartening. “Lost in translation but I hear what you’re saying. Know that I know how smart you are. Hint of an accent. Mix up the past tense. But this is still your home…” Paravi speaks on her own experience watching her mother struggle when she speaks. Learning a whole new language out of survival is an experience that can only be truly understood in the moment. This track is a beautiful way of painting it without the stigma. She outlines that the lack of language does not dictate your intelligence or should outline your sense of belonging in a place you’re building to be your home.

Much has been said of Iowa City-based songwriter and bassist Victoria Park’s alter-ego Pictoria Vark over the past year, so instead of reintroducing her and relitigating what it is exactly that made The Parts I Dread one of the absolute best albums (and debuts) of 2022, what I’d instead like to focus on is the raw vulnerability of Park’s performances and the sheer depth of her sound. From the fragile, delicate beauty of “Twin” to the unapologetic intensity and heavy-handed impact of “Wyoming,” and the soaring, sonically-charged ecstasy of “I Can’t Bike,” The Parts I Dread is a cinematic masterpiece from a singer/songwriter who not only leans into her “darkness,” but also has found a way harness it for her own betterment.

No one talks about the intersection of consumerism, technology, and family trauma like Rina Sawayama. As a self-described “pansexual girlie,” this singer has a unique space in the pop music scene, often illuminating her experience as a Japanese artist living in England. Last year, she released the slay-worthy album Hold the Girl, which pulled influence from American country music. She partnered with Charli XCX for “Beg For You.” She featured Elton John on a remixed version of “Chosen Family.” Still, when she’s not performing music, Sawayama stars as a professional badass in John Wick: Chapter 4, acting as the bow-and-arrow-wielding assassin named Akira.

I‘m well aware that parts of the world recently caught up to Sarah Kinsley’s greatness by way of a TikTok viral hit, and I would encourage all those who like “The King” to dive deeper into the Chinese-American artist’s discography. A singer/songwriter and producer with a flare for the intimate and the cinematic, Kinsley’s 2020 debut EP The Fall is as colorful as it is catchy, and 2022’s Cypress EP remains a personal favorite for its sheer sonic breadth and depth – not to mention the raw emotional packed into all of Kinsley’s vocal performances.

And then there is Kinsley’s most recent batch of singles, the bulk of which are set to show up on her forthcoming third EP Ascension (out June 9 via Verve Forecast and Decca Records UK). “Oh No Darling!” is an exhilarating, invigorating indie pop outpouring of breathtaking intimacy brought to life with striking color and soul-stirring sound. Her latest, “Lovegod,” is as feverish as it is brooding – a lilting enchantment that blends heavy and light into a soothing sonic haze. Kinsley is, without a doubt, a pop icon on the rise, and her third EP promises to further cement her place as one of the year’s undeniable artists to watch!

Hailing from Taipei, Taiwan, Sunset Rollercoaster maintain one of the most interesting and unique sounds with their fusion of synth-pop, bossa nova, and jazz-punk, all while shifting between lyrics in English and their native language Mandarin.

Attributing much of their inspiration to The Velvet Underground, the group synthesizes melancholic guitar and drums – boasting jazz influence – with their upbringing on Japanese and Chinese pop. “My Monday Throne” perfectly encapsulates the broad array of influence, as the song begins with a groovy guitar riff overlayered with soft, poppy vocals. Don’t be fooled; the song takes a turn halfway through as the tempo of the song completely changes, introducing a jazzy drum line met with harmonious horns. You might even catch yourself glancing to make sure you didn’t skip the song!

For more bossa/jazz/Chinese pop fusion, check out their 2011 record Bossa Nova for a cocktail of sounds that you may or may not think could ever coexist.

To create an amazing album is one thing. To strip away the vocals and lyrics and be left with an equally amazing album that hits in a different way, now that takes someone special. Filipino-African-American artist Chaz Bear, better known as Toro Y Moi, is that someone, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. In a re-release of his 2013 album Anything In Return, Bear brings listeners a great new album that’s already existed for ten years. He digs into just how deep his talent goes, taking what was once a stunning R&B/pop/funk record and saying “no actually, if you were even listening, it’s house.” In some ways, with a track like “Say That” for example, Bear scratches that Daft Punk-sized hole in my brain. But in saying that, I in no way want to minimize the immaculate talent and originality that Bear brings to all of his work. His discography goes to show how ahead of the curve he’s always been. His pioneering electronic and funk and rock and pop and R&B synthesis, his production techniques, and everything he’s created in the nearly fifteen years since the Left Alone At Night EP demonstrate an artist who’s finger has always been equally on “the” pulse as it is on his own pulse. He’s always himself while being a trailblazer for culturally-relevant sounds.

Where do we go when we’re asleep, being carried away by our wildest dreams? Wasia Project seeks out the answer in their newest track, “My Lover is Sleeping,” released May 18 via LAOLAO Records.

Wasia Project is siblings Will Gao and Olivia Hardy, a British duo known for their dynamic bedroom-pop and jazz-infused melodies. With both of their musical histories being rooted in classical training, the duo brings a unique sonic fabric to the table; patching the different influences that they’ve picked up during this lifetime together into one grand musical quilt.

A snappy drumbeat propels the track forward over an echoing piano line, and Hardy digs herself deep into the dream world of her lover, desperately trying to discern their wildest dreams before accepting that she just doesn’t know. Hardy’s rich vocals continue to charm listeners as she smoothly sings, “My lover is sleeping / Here on the floor / Where is he drifting? / Oh I wonder where he’ll go?” at the top of the track, fully giving herself over to the mind of her loved one.

Wasia project could easily be product of our wildest dreams, but it’s clear that the duo is here to stay; determined to bring their own imaginations into melodic fruition. And honestly, that fact in itself is a dream come true.

Active throughout the past six years, Yaeji has been carving a space for herself since the release of her debut EP Yaeji and sophomore EP2, the latter featuring the undeniable hits “Raingurl” and “Drink I’m Sippin’ On,” in 2017. Her style pulls elements from house music, Korean indie rock, and 2000’s hip-hop and R&B for a sonically singular experience that’s as authentic as it is fresh. Her lyrics, soft-spoken yet confidently delivered, are sung in both English and Korean in a way that truly embodies the concept of multi-cultural and bilingual identity.

Her newest project With A Hammer brings even more self assurance and originality to Yaeji’s discography, following her eloquently introspective debut mixtape What We Drew. From understated, effortlessly cool opener “Submerge FM” to glitchy title track “With A Hammer,” it’s clear that Yaeji isn’t interested in doing anything other than exactly what she wants with her music. That kind of self image and direction is vital for any artist, but it’s especially powerful among young, minority, female artists that aren’t always afforded the opportunity to be themselves. Yaeji’s unapologetic vision and subsequent art are a beacon for young creatives wanting to break the mold of what’s expected, and create something entirely new for themselves and the industry at large.

Young the Giant have been one of my favorite bands since the release of their debut album back in 2010/’11 – an entire summer of my late teens was soundtracked to songs like “Apartment,” “My Body,” “I Got,” and, of course, “Cough Syrup” – and while I’m still very much a fan of their music, my relationship with the band has taken on new dimensions as I’ve connected with and interviewed frontman Sameer Gadhia over the years.

Candidly, I have learned more from our three hour-long conversations over the past seven years than I have from just about any and every other artist I’ve interviewed in my nearly decade-long career in music journalism. Gadhia is a deep thinker, and his ability to channel complex ideas into digestible music is unmatched. It’s a skill that has shone ever-brighter since the mid-2010s, when Young the Giant began a years-long exploration of identity, belonging, and what it means to call a place your “home.”

Gadhia previously described Young the Giant’s 2016 LP Home of the Strange as “an external search for your place in the world and your place in the narrative of America,” and 2018’s Mirror Master as “an internal reflection of self, and where you fit in with your own versions and your own ideas of who you are, especially in what America is now.” Both albums were, in large part, born out of Gadhia’s ongoing exploration of his external and internal identities, his roots, and his heritage (Gadhia is a first generation Indian-American, his parents both Indian immigrants). These were bolstered even further by intimate talks about mental health, self-perception, and acceptance – all of which are explored thoroughly in Young the Giant’s music.

If Home of the Strange and Mirror Master – two great albums in their own right – were both “proving grounds” for a certain set of ruminations and reflections on purpose, place, and being, then Young the Giant’s recently-released fifth album is the main event – the grand culmination of years’ worth of intense, intimate introspection, soul-searching and self-discovery, connection and understanding. Epic doesn’t even begin to describe American Bollywood: Seismic in scope and intimate in nature, Young the Giant’s latest LP is a massive artistic statement, as well as their most ambitious, intentional, and substantial record yet. It’s a musical thesis so vast, they decided to break its sixteen tracks up into four acts, like a movie or a screenplay.

“At its face, it’s the multi-generational saga of the immigrant in America,” Gadhia explained to me in our most recent call, late last year. “We still look back at Home of the Strange as the beginning moment of when I felt emboldened to tell this story. I took it from a zoomed-out place, and I took it from a place of fiction. Now with this [new] record, I felt emboldened to root it in my actual experience in my life. American Bollywood is the unifier of those ideas into a place of spiritual understanding of where we are in the world, but then also rooting that into culture and a truly personal experience, and a telling of my family’s story, and my relationship with my parents, and generational trauma. In some ways it encapsulates all of where we’ve been at this point and is kind of the crowning piece, I think, for what has been our career up until this point.” He was also quick to add that “this is not just the story of an Indian-American caught in between two worlds; it’s also our universal search to find meaning in chaos.”

Identity, belonging, home, finding meaning in chaos. On the surface, these themes feel dense and overwhelming, but American Bollywood breaks everything down into digestible songs that tell a loose story of the wayward individual finding his place in the world. The album itself is broken into four acts – Origins, Exile, Battle, and Denouement – the flow of which is loosely based off the narrative of the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic that has been popularly described as the longest poem ever written.

American Bollywood is also a musical beast, with Young the Giant seeking to expand the bounds of alternative rock through the incorporation of more South Asian influences and instruments on their recordings than ever before. Instruments like the sitar, tabla, harmonium, tanpura, are present throughout the album; some instances obvious and overt, whilst others are more subtle.

And of course, something must be said of the songs and the songwriting – for at its core, American Bollywood is truly a collection of hits in the making. From the fiery beats and smoldering guitar work of lead single (and Atwood Magazine Editor’s Pick) “Wake Up” – a fever dream that speaks to the longing deep inside us all – to the enchanting, beautiful, harmony rich textures of “Commotion” and “My Way,” the searing, feverish churn of “Dollar $tore” and “Otherside,” and the achingly intimate warmth and heartfelt wonder of “The Walk Home,” American Bollywood adds several catchy and cathartic “classics” to Young the Giant’s catalog. This album is an intimate and resounding triumph for Young the Giant, a band that thrives in the throes of inner reckoning – and one ready to help all of us, wherever we’re from, as we move along our own journeys of identity, home, and belonging.

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AAPI Heritage Month 2023 - Atwood Magazine

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