One of the artists I’ve been enjoying a lot over the past year or so is Louie Zong. As both a visual artist and musician, he brings a lot to the table. Between his youtube channel where he posts music he’s made–and sometimes little videos–and the various shows he has and is working on, he’s impacted three major parts of my life. Technically four, since I found out about the podcast “Wonderful” from a piece of art he shared on twitter and while he just did the cover art for the podcast, I wouldn’t have found it without following those threads despite following all the other major podcasts the McElroy family do.
As much as I enjoy Louie Zong’s art and the shows he contributed to, it is the music he shares on his YouTube channel and posts to his Bandcamp page that features in my every day life. In fact, all of this started almost two years ago when I first heard his song “The Golden Hour” and developed a pair of early-pandemic rituals meant to help keep me more in sync with the world outside my small bubble. Every morning that I had to get up for work (or that I got up early in order to keep myself on normal waking/sleeping hours), I made sure I did so before sunrise so I could sit, drink my coffee, and just breathe in the day during morning golden hour. Then, in the afternoon or evening, I would go for a walk in my neighborhood during the second daily golden hour, making sure I got some exercise, sunlight, fresh air, and an escape from the shrinking confines of the house I shared with my ex-roommate.
From there, my interest spread. Louie Zong quickly became one of the feature artists on all the youtube playlists I made (and his music even made an appearance in a short story I wrote about my D&D character), and he became the second artist I routinely began supporting on Bandcamp Fridays. He shares new music frequently enough that I always have something new to buy, not to mention slowly working my way through his backlog (I like to pay artists who leave their album prices open-ended at least a dollar per song, so it east through my budget pretty quickly each month). While there’s a healthy dose of my beloved “covers of songs from video games” mixed into his discography, there’s also a healthy dose of original music as well (or at least covers of things I don’t recognize and haven’t done the work to learn if it’s original or a cover).
I lack the proper terms and knowledge to discuss music theory or criticism at any length, but I certainly have the ability to talk about how it makes me feel. A lot of the covers strike the perfect mix of novelty and nostalgia for me. His original music is generally well-themed in tone and fits a feeling usually conveyed in part by the image he has used as the album art or small video he uploaded to youtube the music plays behind. Beyond even that, he creates music across several different genres, changing style from project to project with an apparant ease that makes me wonder how much this guy sleeps. He seems to have done so much over the past two years of the pandemic, maybe because of it (some of us became productive in response to the stress of the pandemic, so that’s fairly feasible), but it’s also possible that the strange bend and weave of Pandemic Time means I’m just not truly aware of the space between projects (I keep having to remind myself that it’s been almost two months since I started this project at work and not the “couple weeks” I keep saying I’ve been working on it).
Honestly, the music is just all kinds of pleasant. You can find an album to fit almost any mood, a video for any preference, and come away that much richer for having watched or listened to whatever autoplayed afterwards. I can’t recommend Louie Zong enough if you’re looking for some new music or art to appreciate.