In this short write-up, you're introduced to Beijing's Heat Mark (热斑乐队), an indie rock duo whose attitude towards fashion and music is totally original.
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Photos courtesy of Heat Mark (热斑乐队).
Under the moniker Heat Mark (热斑乐队 in Chinese), the duet of Liu Pianpian (刘翩翩) and Wang Zhiwen (王志文) create indie rock jams that are reminiscent of the garage band craze that swept across the USA in the early 2000s, and with just as much of a DIY attitude.
“Currently, we just want to make music that we like, no need to bother with if the song will be popular or not…,” vocalist Liu Pianpian tells Temper, “as long as we can naturally and truly express ourselves, we will make music that [we] personally like.”
Heat Mark’s discography is an offbeat mixtape of genres from dream pop whimsical-ism to surf rock shenanigans. A definite way to crank up the summer vibes, a Heat Mark tune is sonic poetry that reflects on everything from being young in today’s society to the banes of existence, namely love.
Liu Pianpian’s satiny voice is matched beautifully by Wang Zhiwen’s catchy, dance-inducing instrumentals. Earworm alert!
Music and Fashion
Decked out in flowy florals and eclectic patterns of Betty Boop and Dalmatians, Liu Pianpian is all her own, and her wardrobe is as much a statement of her individualism as the lyrics she composes. “Of course! From clothes to music, I stick to my own style,” she exclaims, “as long as I feel comfy, feel free and I like [it], there’s nothing I can’t [wear]. If one day, I feel like wearing armor on stage will make me feel at ease, I might wear it.”
This “you do you” / unapologetically me mindset is most prominently advocated in the track “I Don’t Like This And That” off of Heat Mark’s 2020 release NOT BAD. This droney yet psychedelic tune’s lyrics depict trying to jump on the bandwagon and finding it unbearable and a waste of time.
So, just “go love yourself.”
Started in 2013 while Liu Pianpian was still in college, Heat Mark’s origins evolved organically and nonchalantly with Liu Pianpian simply liking Wang Zhiwen’s musical abilities. “Wang Zhiwen [at the time] was playing in his own band whose style was drastically different from Heat Mark, but I thought he played the guitar really well and could also really compose music” Liu Pianpian recalls, “So I suggested together [we] start a band and [Heat Mark] started.”
Heat Mark is based out of Beijing and performs shows throughout China.
Want to see the indie rock duo in action?
At time of posting, there was no news of a July gig. But don’t fret, a little birdie told Temper to pay attention to Heat Mark’s socials – scroll down to get the loot – for news on upcoming performances.
Concocting a signature sound by blending an array of musical genres, Heat Mark’s music amplifies the inner dialogue (and outer) we all have. Liu Pianpian’s thoughts on the hot and cold of being human are perfectly accompanied by Wang Zhiwen’s musical dexterity, and, with so many tracks that will get stuck in your head and make your feet stomp, try not to sway to the beat.
We dare you.