As mui zyu, Hong Kong British artist Eva Liu navigates the tricky territory of ever-changing identity, merging fantasy and folklore to create a stage for self-acceptance and deliverance. On her debut full-length Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century, Liu utilizes chopped-up soundscapes, delicate industrial ambience and sweet pop melodies to introduce a character––a guide––who can be stretched across worlds to offer the catharsis of patience, perseverance and understanding. This isn’t a character formed from a desire to escape or flee the real world, but rather a way to submerge even deeper into ourselves. Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century is a reflection of everyone, and everything, that made us who we are.
On her 2021 solo EP a wonderful thing vomits (Father/Daughter), Liu was praised for her seamless integration of darkened, often ominous instrumentation and pillowy-soft vocals. As the front person of UK indie-rock trio Dama Scout, Liu effortlessly navigates a disorientating genre-bending sonic landscape with a playful, gentle dexterity. Now, with the help of Dama Scout bandmate Luciano Rossi as co-producer, Liu’s first solo full-length builds upon these previous worlds to form a blossoming, more upbeat patchwork of lo-fi percussion, poignant lyricism and oddly alluring arrangements. “There’s a meandering between two worlds,” she says. “A kitchen sink reality versus a more fantastical place.”
The writing process of Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century prompted Liu to explore more of her Hong Kong heritage, allowing a space for acceptance and celebration. As a child, she would often shy away from traditions and urge herself into the blur of a crowd. “I am Chinese and I am owning it,” she explains. “Before, I would resent it. I tried doing things that would make me like less Chinese somehow.” As the album began to take shape, Liu read the traditional Chinese folklore writings of Pu Songling and joined local East and Southeast Asian groups, which allowed her to bond with people who had had similar experiences growing up. It opened a portal into a new self, where Liu could blend her love of video games and film scores with traditional Chinese instruments.