Nietzsche was a bit of weird fellow, but he got one thing right when he said: “Without music life would be a mistake.” Yes, that’s right, I started this article with a Nietzsche quote! But in all seriousness, Taiwanese music has helped ground me in this amazing country and I am so thankful to have so many great bands and artists to enjoy.
What initially began as a way for me to learn Mandarin has turned into a small passion of mine. I want more people abroad to get into Taiwanese tunes, and to see the value in what a lot of these great bands are doing.
To give a little taste of what I currently have on my playlists, here are some bands and artists worth adding to your own Spotify or YouTube playlists. They don’t follow any particular order, and I decided against using genres to split them up. I’m too afraid I’ll get too many genres wrong for any of these bands, so you decide.
1. 草東沒有派對 No Party For Cao Dong
Ah yes, No Party For Cao Dong, what a kickass band. They really elevated the rock scene for me in Taiwan and I am happy to see their music being featured in Red Candle’s next game, Devotion.
2. 落日飛車 Sunset Rollercoaster
I had no idea for a while that Sunset Rollercoaster was Taiwanese. It’s not often that I hear bands sing in English in Taiwan, and this was a nice surprise. They’ve made it pretty big and it’s no surprise; their music is amazing.
3. 孔雀眼 JADE EYES
I’ve pretty much had to stop listening to Jade Eyes for a while because I’ve overplayed the music. It was so addictive and good that I ruined it for myself for a while. I shall be leaving my self-imposed purgatory soon to revisit and fall in love with Jade Eyes again soon! You got to check out Jade Eyes.
9m88 is one of those artists that I cannot wait to see more from. I have seen her solo stuff and I really can’t wait to see more. Her collabs are all pretty amazing, but her rendition of “Plastic Love” is a great modern twist on the Japanese classic that everyone got recommended on YouTube.
5. 漂流出口 Outlet Drift
You know who deserves some recognition? Great aborigine rocks bands in Taiwan. Outlet Drift has long been on my playlist
6. 阿飛西雅 APHASIA
7. 原子邦妮 Astro Bunny
Astro Bunny deserves a big shout out alone for this really creative music video below. I’d really recommend checking out her full array of music.
9. 他者The Other
I was really fortunate to get to see The Other at a gig in Yuanshan Park on a rainy day in 2017. They were by far the best band on the stage the whole night and they outshined Hello Nico. I’d really like to see more from them.
10. 眠腦 Sleeping Brain
Ambient, chill, introspective, and all round some of my favourite music to chill out with. These chaps deserve some love and ears to get the word out.
11. 破地獄 Scattered Purgatory
Probably a lot lesser-known on this list, but I enjoy their music all the same, and if you like ambient music that reminds you of Tool without the heavy onslaught, this is always good.
12. Aristophanes 貍貓
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but to me, it is a fine damn cup. I really enjoy someone that makes their own waves, style, and niche. I really dig Aristophanes’ beats.
13. 法蘭黛樂團 Frandé
14. 謎路人Way of Puzzle – Rebirth
This is one of my favourite artists in Taiwan. His tunes are great and he always does some pretty funny collaborations with other artists.
Make sure to comment below if you have any bands worth mentioning. This isn’t just for my own sake, but for anyone that comes here looking for some great Taiwanese music. Show some love!