Preview: Hedgehog (indie rock)

One of Beijing record label Modern Sky's flagship bands

One of Beijing record label Modern Sky's flagship bands, Hedgehog are among the most beloved acts in the country, with an appeal driven largely by the immense talent of pint-sized drummer Atom and their catchy indie-rock sound. In the six years since their founding, the band have grown from strength to strength, building a devoted following, playing international festivals and touring the US. Their history and appeal, together with a recent line-up change, have made Hedgehog's latest album, scheduled for release this month, highly anticipated.

The band's performance in Beijing is due to conincide with the release of Honeyed And Killed (at the time of going to press, the exact release date remains unconfirmed), which will be their first album since the departure of founding member and bassist Box. When he quit the band in January last year, many feared the worst, especially given that remaining members Atom and frontman ZO already had their own side project in The B-Side Lovers. Fears were allayed, however, when the pair recruited new bassist Xiao Nan and announced that they were at work on a new LP. ZO says that another Hedgehog record was never in danger: 'To be honest, even before Box left, we'd decided on the direction of the new album,' he says, 'and now we're in a really good position with the new line-up.'

After two albums of catchy, jingle-jangle indie-rock - Happy Idle Kid and Noise Hit World - Hedgehog's third album, Blue Day Dreaming, released in 2009, showcased a newfound maturity and featured some of their best material to date. ZO says that much of Honeyed And Killed is a departure for the band. 'It's really different to what we've done before,' he says. 'There's a much calmer atmosphere to our music now. I feel like this album is a summary of where we've got to as a band, as well as an extension toward our future, We're all really excited by it - people won't be disappointed.'

Hedgehog play Mao Live House on Friday 22 April 2011.