Out now: JOHN TSUNG – Empire Postcards

JOHN TSUNG’s Empire Postcards is an album of Asian American stories, as told through American strains of rock, indie, and folk. These narratives stem from interviews and conversations with immigrants across the continent that TSUNG held over the last three years. They embody a wide range of stories–concerning love, loss, patriotism, and regret–that challenge conventional wisdom about being Asian American. Throughout these songs, TSUNG mixes these myriad diasporic experiences with his own as a Taiwanese immigrant, injecting a new perspective to the American songwriting canon.

In times of crisis, people interrogate the shape of their lives in an effort to determine their destiny. In the stories and past lives of our predecessors and families, we can find teachings, warnings, and comforts. Empire Postcards is a series of vignettes that could be told at any point in human history — tales that can and will be told again. It’s also a dear love letter to American music, as experienced by an artist grappling with his own place in his home country. “These voices are East Asian, but I think they are also universally human,” TSUNG says.

“The characters and voices on this album are proud, joyful, optimistic, and reactionary. When I started writing these songs, it was early 2020, in the midst of Trump’s anti-Chinese rhetoric, before the last two years of madness, the rise of anti-Asian hate, the storming of the Capitol. They anticipate some of the tension and weight to come. I hope the emotions and feelings in the songs resonate true in 2022.”

Listen / download Empire postcards here.

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