The first time I heard a song from LA-based duo IO ECHO, I was immediately intrigued. The song was their first single, When the Lilies Die and it was the song’s overt Oriental influences that piqued my interest. Not only was the song catchy but it was able to perfectly blend a Western musical base with an Eastern mystical tension.
IO ECHO are Ioanna Gika and Leopold Ross and they are set to release their debut record Ministry of Love. The band makes no bones about the love they have for Asian music and the influence it has on their sound, as evidenced by the Japanese kimono album cover to having songs titled as Shanghai Girls and Tienanmen Square. Having grown up in Southeast Asia, singer Gika seems to understand the underlying pull of Oriental music. And being able to mix this Asian influence of Japanese koto harps and Chinese violins with the deep hazy world of shoegaze rock have allowed IO ECHO to create a new intriguing genre of “New Orientalism”. It’s a sound worth checking out.
IO Echo are coming back to St Louis on 4/9 (they were here earlier this year) to open for Garbage at The Pageant (tickets here)
Watch the arresting video for When the Lilies Die embedded below.
IO ECHO – Ministry of Love comes out 4/2 via IAMSOUND (order here)