China plays a distinctive brand of outsider americana that feels both fresh and familiar. Featuring singer-songwriter Michael James Tapscott, drummer Raphi Gottesman, bassist and songwriter Jeff Moller, and guitarist Jacob Aranda; they will be familiar to many fans of indie music for their involvement over the years in groups like Sugar Candy Mountain, Odawas, Papercuts, and The Black Swans. You can hear all the classic folk-rock influences—Shakey, The Byrds, The Beau Brummels, Pearls Before Swine; you can hear echoes of indie rock, sunshine pop, and private press loner-folk too. But it’s the evocative lyrics, shot thru with black humour and a wry twisted tongue, as well as the stirring performances that bring freshness to these charmingly rustic songs. Rendered in vivid technicolor, each song is a vignette with cinematic scope, populated by doomed anti-heroes and desolate landscapes. These are stories of life on the road, life on the run, life on the wrong side of the tracks—a blend of the real and the absurd. Full of forlorn melancholy and nostalgic longing, these songs attempt to make sense of the past, looking back in the rear-view mirror or the window of a Greyhound bus on the way out of town.