“No one else sounds like Alice Longyu Gao” (MTV); ‘High Dragon and Universe’ EP out now

October 15 2021
Photo by Olivia Aquilina

Chinese-born, now New York & Los Angeles-based producer, songwriter, DJ, and futuristic pop artist, Alice Longyu Gao, today welcomes you further into her world with the release of her debut EP, High Dragon and Universe. 

Listen to the EP in full HERE and watch the new visualizers for “Never Coming Back,” “DTM,” and “Bleeding In The Studio,” HERE.

Alice Longyu Gao’s music pulses with a distinct punk sensibility at its heart. Singular, iridescently creative and true only to herself, High Dragon and Universe follows the idiosyncrasies of Gao’s personality in a compact, maximum-impact hyperpunk flurry. From aspirational opener, the “pansexual anthem” “100 Boyfriends”, to lavishly toasting her own success on “Kanpai” to deeply personal closer, “DTM”, and questioning the position of women in in the music industry “Bleeding in the Studio”. Alice Longyu Gao’s debut EP is a tour de force of self-expression that throws elastic, impossibly neon synths, saccharine, champagne-soaked melodies and jubilant percussion up against distorted, avant-club beats.

Of the EP’s title, Gao explains that “Gao means ‘high’ in Chinese, ‘Long’ means ‘dragon,’ and yu means ‘universe’. My real name is a boy’s name. Phoenix usually symbolizes female in Chinese fairy tales & dragon usually only symbolizes male. My dad always wanted a boy & gender assessment in China was illegal before the child’s birth (because people tend to abort girls), so my dad made up this name before I was born. To his and my entire family’s disappointment, I turned out to be a girl. I used to hate this name but I grew up really detached from my family. I’ve been grinding and I feel like having a dragon in my name gives me wings.”

Gao explains further, “I want to be the most candid self. My purpose of releasing this EP is that, I want to, for once, not aim to entertain others, but to ground myself… Nothing at all goes as planned or wished, including this EP. But then this EP came together as a pack of work that is just me, it represents only me, no features, no co-primary artists. I’m the main producer, I am the main writer. I’m the front face and I am responsible for its success or failure. I always aspire to be a self-sufficient woman, even though the costs were tears, stress, anxiety, and heartbreak. Learning lessons through making this EP was necessary for me to become a better human, and I am thankful for it.”

Bringing together previously released singles “Underrated Popstar”, “Kanpai” and “100 Boyfriends” (boasting a collaboration with returning partner Dylan Brady of 100 gecs), High Dragon and Universe speeds past in a blur of inventive, expressive production that wraps daggers of anger, pain and trauma inside the high-budget sheen of pop music. Alice Longyu Gao’s inner world, given shape and sound throughout her debut EP, is one which is complex, inimitable and richly rewarding to step into, built up over the years as a kind of internal survival strategy. Shining through, the six tracks collected on High Dragon and Universe are potent displays of Gao’s forte – giddy, opulent, post-genre reminders to herself to keep that CEO energy high until the day she can edge out those “dismissive bros”, to always lean into a prosperous self-worth that cloaks painful pasts and less-than-ideal realities inside the incessant rush towards a brighter future. Inside of her debut EP (which she wrote and produced in isolation, finding authenticity in being dismissed), the self-proclaimed “Princess of Manifestation” levels up and, in the process, casually inoculates herself against all the doubters. But beneath her braggadocious raps, her larger-than-life persona, the fearless confidence that she embodies with such rude, seemingly invincible ease, lies pangs of insecurity and the eternal desire to be loved and acknowledged simply as herself.

Following a string of standalone singles from 2018 to 2021, Gao has drawn recent praise from the MTV, the New York Times, Fader, Paper, Nylon, Stereogum, The Line of Best Fit, NME, i-D, Billboard Pride and more, graced the covers of Spotify’s Hyperpop and misfits 2.0 playlists, collaborated with Mura Masa, Dylan Brady, bülow, Alice Glass and Rebecca Black, landing support slots for 100 gecs, Rebecca Black, Cashmere Cat, Dorian Electra and more along the way. Cosigned by a range of industry tastemakers and name-breakers, including Zane LoweLady Gaga – who placed “Rich Bitch Juice” third on her “Women of Choice” Apple Music playlist, highlighting non-male artists she sees as club-pop visionaries – and more.

High Dragon and Universe by Alice Longyu Gao is out now, buy/stream it here

1. 100 Boyfriends
2. Underrated Popstar
3. Never Coming Back
4. Bleeding in the Studio
5. Kanpai
6. DTM

Nov 7, 2021 – ONCE @ The Rockwell, Boston, MA
Nov 11, 2021 – Club Dada – Dallas, TX
Dec 1, 2021 – Aisle 5 – Atlanta, GA
Jan 13, 2022 – Union Stage – Washington, DC*
Jan 14, 2022 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY* (SOLD OUT)
Jan 15, 2022 – Velvet Underground – Toronto, ON*
Jan 18, 2022 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL*
Jan 20, 2022 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA*
Jan 21, 2022 – Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA*
Jan 27 2022 – The Coast – Fort Collins, CO^
Jan 28, 2022 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO^

*ALG supporting Rebecca Black
^ALG playing with Alice Gas

Stay connected with Alice Longyu Gao:
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