The Loneliness Which is Barely Different

The Loneliness Which is Barely Different

It’s not often that you will find a song which will take your breath away. I discovered this one last year, and many listens later it hasn’t lost the tender beauty or the power it held over me the first time I heard it.

Unbelievingly, I first discovered Xǐ huan [喜欢] ‘Like’ as a free download. It’s by Zhāng Xuán [张悬], most commonly known as Deserts Xuan or Chang, a Taiwanese singer who is thought to be one of the leading voices of contemporary alternative Chinese music. It’s from her second album, released in 2007 and entitled, Qīn ài de…wǒ huán bù zhī dào [親愛的…我還不知道], ‘Dear…I Don’t Know Yet’.

A long-time independent musician and composer, Chang began writing songs barely into her teens. She was performing her own music on stage by the age of 16 and at 19, she had written over 100 pieces of music. She chose the stage name ‘Deserts’ because it was “mysterious and suggests something hanging in limbo”; like her personality.

Chang is an accomplished guitarist who began her career playing live in pubs, then as a member of the indie rock band Mango Runs which won the Indie Music Award at the Taipei Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival in 2003. She continued to write material of her own, but it wasn’t until 2006 that her debut album My Life Will… was released under the Sony BMG label; a move which brought much anxiety to her fans who feared she would lose sight of her indie roots.

Chang has been recognised several times for her solo songwriting; firstly at the 18th Golden Melody Awards in Taipei in 2007 in which she received four nominations. At the 7th Chinese Music Media Awards in Hong Kong that same year, she was deemed the Best New Mandarin Artist. Before this year it had been considered unthinkable to give awards to independent artists. The following year, she walked away from the 19th Golden Melody Awards with the Best Lyricist award for the song Bì jìng [畢竟] ‘After All’.

You can download Xǐ Huan for free at Last.fm, or watch the equally beautiful video.

片段中 有些散落 有些深刻的错
pian duan zhong you xie san luo you xie shen ke de cuo
还不懂 这一秒钟 怎么举动 怎么好好的和谁牵手
hai bu dong zhe yi miao zhong zen me ju dong zen me hao hao de he shei qian shou
那寂寞 有些许不同 我挑着留下没说
na ji mo you xie xu bu tong wo tiao zhe liu xia mei shuo
那生活 还过分激动 没什么我已经以为能够把握
na sheng huo hai guo fen ji dong mei shen me wo yi jing yi wei neng gou ba wo

而我 不再觉得失去是舍不得
er wo bu zai jue de shi qu shi she bu de
有时候只愿意听你 唱完一首歌
you shi hou zhi yuan yi ting ni chang wan yi shou ge
在所有人事已非的景色里
zai suo you ren shi yi fei de jing se li
我最喜欢你
wo zui xi huan ni

片段中 有些散落 有些深刻的错
pian duan zhong you xie san luo you xie shen ke de cuo
就快懂 这一秒钟 怎么举动 怎么好好和你过
iu kuai dong zhe yi miao zhong zen me ju dong zen me hao hao he ni guo
那寂寞 有些许不同 我挑着留下没说
na ji mo you xie xu bu tong wo tiao zhe liu xia mei shuo
那生活 还过分激动 没什么我已经以为能够把握
na sheng huo hai guo fen ji dong mei shen me wo yi jing yi wei neng gou ba wo

你知道 你曾经让人被爱并且经过
ni zhi dao ni ceng jing rang ren bei ai bing qie jing guo
毕竟是有着怯怯但能 给的沉默
bi jing shi you zhe qie qie dan neng gei de chen mo
在所有不被想起的快乐里
zai suo you bu bei xiang qi de kuai le li
我最喜欢你
wo zui xi huan ni

而我不再觉得失去是舍不得
er wo bu zai jue de shi qu shi she bu de
有时候只愿意听你 唱完一首歌
you shi hou zhi yuan yi ting ni chang wan yi shou ge
在所有人事已非的景色里
zai suo you ren shi yi fei de jing se li
我最喜欢你
wo zui xi huan ni

而我不再觉得
er wo bu zai jue de
而我不再觉得…
er wo bu zai jue de…

In that fragment, there was some scattering and some profound mistakes
I still don’t understand right now; how to move, how best to hold on to someone’s hand;
that loneliness is barely different, I chose to stay and not mention it;
that life still holds too much excitement; there isn’t much that lies within my grasp.

And I don’t think that losing makes me feel bad anymore,
Sometimes I only wish to hear you finish singing a song;
In a landscape that contradicts all that we know
I like you the best.

In that fragment, there was some scattering and some profound mistakes
I’m almost understanding right now; how to move, how best to live with you;
that loneliness is barely different, I chose to stay and not mention it;
that life still holds too much excitement; there isn’t much that lies within my grasp.

You should know that you once allowed someone to be loved and then passed her by,
After all that happened there is this nervous silence;
Within all the happiness that I do not remember anymore
I like you the best.

And I don’t think that losing makes me feel bad anymore,
Sometimes I only wish to hear you finish singing a song;
In a landscape that contradicts all that we know
I like you the best.

And I don’t think that anymore
And I don’t think that anymore…

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