Oceans in the Sky, Liam Frost’s high-energy solo project, began in 2013 with the release of a debut EP, Sparks. Since then, he has released singles, played solo and full band shows in China, Taiwan and the U.S., and performed on TV and radio shows in Taiwan. Now back in New York City, Frost has a new album recorded with a new live band. Slated for an upcoming release via Heading East, Fred Mascherino’s (Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred, etc.) label, the album spans countless genres with multilingual lyrics and a punk energy throughout. Lyrically, the theme is no matter which side of the world Frost is on, he’s looking for a sense of belonging. Musically, being biracial and multilingual/cultural, he sees parallels in Eastern and Western music and connects them. Check out the latest single “Taipei” and be sure to listen to Liam’s previous single “Ghost“!
The song was written by Liam Frost, produced by Jon Markson (Drug Church) and Liam Frost. Pipa Written and Recorded by 陳妍心 Sylvie Chen at 新奇鹿錄音室Saturday Studio. Mixed by Jon Markson. Mastered by Brian Lucey (Green Day, Post Malone). Artwork by Tania Tran.
“The most exciting part about writing “Taipei” was working with my friend 陳妍心 Sylvie Chen for the first time.” – comments Liam. “She plays pipa (a traditional Chinese instrument) on four songs on the album. It’s an incredibly difficult instrument to play and she’s a master. Growing up listening to Chinese pop and rock, it’s been a joy working with her to make music that feels completely unique and true to who I am.”
Five favorite places in Taipei, by Liam Frost:
Ximending 西門町: This is where I lived for almost three years and wrote the lyrics to “Taipei”. I made half of the album in my apartment there. It’s right in the middle of Taipei, called the “Harajuku of Taipei” or “Shibuya of Taipei”. There’s a lot of bright lights and big buildings and stores, a huge outdoor gay bar district and bookstore, amazing street food, hot pot, barbecue, karaoke, and diners, many of which were open 24 hours which was perfect for when I had insomnia and needed a break from writing or recording. We shot some video there and even snuck back on the roof of my old apartment, so stay tuned to see what Ximending looks like.
Danshui 淡水: I studied at Tamkang University in Danshui for a summer program when I was in High School. It was these kids of Taiwanese descent from all over the world going back to study Chinese and I met a few of my life-long friends there. We skipped class a lot and explored Danshui (sorry mom). It felt like a coming-of-age movie and my friends showed me a ton of great music from all different countries. I later wrote one of the album tracks “Worlds” when I stayed with a friend there. It has a river town vibe. There’s a famous old street with tons of food, and a big night market along the river. Night markets are kind of like never-ending food festivals where hundreds and hundreds of vendors pop up every night. They sell unbelievable food, as well as clothes and other things. They also have carnival-style games. It blew my mind as a kid. Taiwanese are all about “little eats” or “snacks”, so you just walk and eat and walk and eat for hours, occasionally stopping to play a game or buy something.
Yongkang Street 永康街: Speaking of food, my favorite place to eat in Taipei is a famous food street called Yongkang Street. It has the best and most famous beef noodle soup, scallion pancakes, mango shaved ice, bubble tea, and soup dumpling spots in the world. I worked near there and ate lunch there almost every day. It was nuts.
Jiufen 九份: Jiufen is a little outside of Taipei. It’s the location the film “Spirited Away” is based on. It’s a little village on top of a mountain and it’s got all these tiny narrow streets and ancient Chinese and Japanese style architecture. I would go with friends and have tea and look out at the gorgeous view of the town, ocean and mountains.
Zhongli 中壢: Zhongli is also a little outside Taipei, but the place of most significance to me. I spent many summers there as a kid, staying with my aunt and cousins, whom I really love. I heard a lot of great Chinese music for the first time while driving around in my cousin’s car, taught my niece piano there, drove my first moped there…countless memories. I rarely see my relatives in the states, so when I lived there, I felt what it was like to see family often. It was some real heartwarming shit.