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Otay:onii, 'W.C.'

Guangzhou-born Lane Shi Otayonii is no stranger to balancing iniquity with beauty, whether she's wailing against the chaotic sludgegaze of her band Elizabeth Colour Wheel or threading Chinese folk sensibilities through harsh post-industrial on her solo project Otay:onii. "W.C." — the second single off upcoming Dream Hacker — is equal parts dark irreverence and Dante-esque horror, crushed into something resembling an art-pop song.

The subject matter is a raw, somatic evocation of Otay:onii's anxiety about sinophobia, referencing and warping Western notions of an imagined, unsanitary China. Accordingly, Otay:onii weaves together samples of toilets flushing with a stream of otherworldly, pounding industrial; above it, she sings about the residents of the titular restroom in haunting Mandarin refrains, coolly reassuring, "They're not as strong as you / And they're not as doomed as you." "W.C." is crushingly eerie, leaving you at the mercy of Otay:onii's tone as she draws melody from the muck.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Zhenzhen Yu
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