Long time no see, huh? I’ve been pretty much up to nothing since moving into my new apartment. I must say, it’s a pretty schnazzy place. ANYWAY…it’s July. It’s going to be August soon and you know what? Twelve billion new boy and girl groups are coming out with more and more crap for the masses to oogle at and listen to like a stupid preteen in a Hannah Montana & Jonas Brothers’ dual concert. And people wonder why there are anti fans in the world. Ah geez.
So are you getting sick of Kpop as much as I am? Are you getting sick of the groups that start looking the same to you, even after you turn your head for the second time? Getting sick of the sound? People, we live in a world where the songs of the decade are produced simply for cash. Dirrrteh Cash. What happened to good music?
It really depends on one’s opinion of “good music”. I don’t really consider mainstream…anything as “good music”. It’s funny though. Nothing about chart topping hits screams original to me, no matter how much the artist tries to convince you that “it was a burst of inspiration”. They end up sounding the same to me and with the ridiculous amount of times I hear those songs on the radio, I’m driven to the point of insanity. I’m not dumb. I know that these songs of mainstream music will never die as long as those lovely hipsters roam around freely. Let’s put it this way: If your song crawls its way to MTV or Disney Channel, you can say bye bye to your real credibility as an artist.
I’ve always had a thing for Indie music, but more recently it’s been geared to K-Indie. I consider it to be the light in the darkness that is Kpop. The two things I’d like to point out about the Indie scene in Korea is, unlike mainstream, there are no rabid psycho fans and the music is written because of one’s passion for music (or at least that’s what I’d like to believe). Yes, I know I live under a rock, but at least it’s a comfortable one.
So I’m going to do the same thing I did with “The Unknowns and Underrated” post and list some K-Indie artists and some songs to get you guys into the swing of things. Perhaps you’ll hear something you’ll like. You never really know.
These guys don’t even have a wiki page. Shock shock. They’ve been compared to the likes of “Clazziquai” but I personally believe it’s not worth the comparison. They’re more into the whole electropop sort of sound compared to the likes of mainstream Clazzi (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Are you still living in the dark? Are you a K-Drama buff? You must have seen “Coffee Prince”, right? Heard the O.S.T? Then you’ve heard Casker. Lee Yung Jin’s voice is hauntingly beautiful. The Epik High boys thought so.
I’m sure all you youtubers have seen this already. I thank Sambazka for introducing me to these lovely boys. They’re a lot louder compared to Casker, but that’s a good thing for when you’re in the mood for just jumping around in your underwear. They’ve got this funk rock sort of style and I’m lovin’ it. Their stage presence is thrilling and I happen to find their lead guitarist my new personal Jesus.
LOOK WHO’S IN THIS!!! You’ve got the MAN of Humming Urban Stereo, Brown Bunny. You’ve also got the drummer from Linus’ Blanket, YeSlow. This trio is any K-Indie fan’s dream team. Their music has lively beats, a mellow sound, and yet, no matter how little that makes sense, it just blends together so perfectly. Really, these guys are worth listening to. Tracks to watch out for: “Luv Punch” and “Instant Cafe” (The guitar riffs are simplistic yet grasping).
Imagine yourself in a really upscale lounge sort of club. People around you are looking super fine, even if they are just sitting down and taking a sip of that cappuccino. Suddenly, that curtain rises and the spotlight shines on tonight’s entertainment. The first few beats of the bass catch on and suddenly you’re sucked into this whirlpool of musical love. If you haven’t heard what sex sounds like, you must listen to this group. French-esque, jazzy lounge sounds are finally in perfect union with bossa nova beats thanks to this group. And if you’re still not convinced, they were also in the Coffee Prince O.S.T. =P
I’ve honestly fallen head over heels for Tearliner. Once again, blame Coffee Prince. The music brings me to this dreamlike state that I’m never ever in a rush to get out of. The random mix of electro beats, a sultry voice, and simplistic guitar riffs can bring anyone to their knees. You really MUST do everything you can to find his material. It’s worth every second.
Mmm, tasty. No, I’m not talking about that kid from Peanuts. Very folk indie with subtle hints of poppy undertones. If my sexuality has ever been question, Yeongene is to blame. Her voice is very cute =D. Her English in songs like “Don’t Call It Puppy Love” and “Labor In Vain” is quite amazing, with a slight hint of fobby English, but no one’s paying attention. It’s the kind of stuff you’d love to hear on Sunday afternoons.
So you’re not into mellow lounge, jazzy beats? Not lovin’ the folk, pop rock? Did you say hip hop? Here’s your man. His rap is rather delicious and he’s got beats to match. Actually, it’s not all ghetto underground sort of stuff. He’s got jazz beats up his hand. My personal favorite is “I Hate the Me That Loves You” but I’m still getting into this guy, so my knowledge is rather minimal. Forgive me.
Do I find her a sexy beast? Oh baby, yes. But I can’t find anything on the web about this lil lady, but once again, if you were a fan of Coffee Prince, I think she was on it as well. She’s very lively, yet easy-listening, so if you’re in the mood for just sitting back and admiring the beautiful day, she’s your gal. Her English isn’t amazing, but it’s a plus for me. Her lyrics can make little to no sense at times, but it doesn’t lessen my love for her.
I have found nothing when it comes to these guys. Well, Dramabeans did a pretty good job of filling me in, so all credits go to HER: “A somewhat new band working in upbeat electronic music, Blue Sorbet is relatively on the downlow, with one album, a digital single, and two tracks on an OST (that are included on their full album). Their website’s incomplete and there’s a serious dearth of info on them. Let’s hope it’s just because they’re still pretty new.”
These guys just might have a tie with Tearliner on my love scale. MELLOW ROCK, MELLOW ROCK!! Very easy listening. Do we have some J-Poppers in the house? You guys must know YUI, correct? Well, these guys did a cover of her song “Goodbye Days.” Now, even though I’m a big fan of the original, this cover isn’t as horrid as the Cantonese version, so please give these guys your ears. Word to the wise: There is one song that they sing that has a randomly gore video to match. As haunting as the guy sounds, it totally works with the video. Just make sure you haven’t eaten anything or are eating while you watch it.
Are you one of the lucky few with a love life? Listen to some of Bluedawn’s tunes if you’ve got nothing better to do after waking up one day. Their melodies seem simplistic, but if you ever try to figure it out, it’s really difficult. Don’t just a song by it’s sound. I find it an incredible shame that these two parted ways in 2007. Nevertheless, the two are out there somewhere fulfilling their lives with solo careers. Keep a look out for them.
Her voice is very Enya-ish. As much as I’d love to drift away to dreamland whenever I hear her sing, the background music keeps me in check with very psychedelic guitar riffs. They’re like an acid trip gone right.
I think the simplistic musicality of their music won me over. There really isn’t anything fantastic about the background, but it fits so well with the singer’s voice. Simplicity becomes a treat for one’s ears, that’s what Fortune Cookie is about. By now, you’ve heard a lot of electropop groups, but this group is one to take notice for their simplistic harmonies and melodies.
You getting tired of the mellow goodness? Well, Spicy Soda (God, they couldn’t find a better name?) is definitely someone worth mentioning if you need your Monday morning pick up. Forget the coffee (though I guess it would help) and just put these guys on your stereo. Very upbeat, very pop-rock, and the singer’s voice has this sassy rasp to it when she belts out every once in a while. They’re a refreshing change from the laid back mellow beats I’ve been handing out for you guys.
My love for Yozoh burns with light of a thousand suns. I have no idea what instrument she plays, but she plays it pretty damn well. Her voice is really soft and can drift away in your random thoughts, which is never necessarily a good thing, but I love listening to her stuff after a rough day of doing jackshit with my life. You might know her actually. If you’re a fan of Kim Tae Hee, you’ve heard her somewhat suggestive “Banana Song” (the title screams dirty innuendo neh? …No? It’s probably just me then) on one of her CFs. There was another one…”My name is Yozoh” on another Kim Tae Hee CF. Man, are those guys BFF’s or what? My personal favorite was “Nostalgia” featuring that sexy piece of man, Eric Mun of Shinhwa. If you get past another one of Eric’s terrible English raps, you can appreciate the song. The MV was about a love triangle. I know you’re probably thinking “Oh great, another K-drama to bore the life out of me.” Actually, it’s quite interesting. Go watch it.
Oh, my loyal readers, I have only made a dent on the Korean Indie scene. My knowledge is far too lacking to go into great detail for all of you. Forgive me. But hopefully, I sparked someone’s interest out there. Please tell me “yes”, just to give my ego a little shove.
Hopefully I opened some eyes (and ears lol) to a new genre of Korean goodness. I know there are a lot of comeback albums coming out here and there (BIG BANG ON AUGUST FIRST, FTW!), but hopefully you’ll take the time to get interested in some of the real music I posted above. Or maybe not. I can’t please everyone. Just be aware that music isn’t always about eye candy. There is such a thing as “talent” and “good music” out there, but I’ll let you be the judge of things. Just know that when you get sick and tired of listening to DBSK, Big Bang, Lee Hyori, Wonder Girls, SNSD, Super Junior, or whoever else is out there, there is such a thing known as “Korean Indie” that’s more than glad to welcome new listeners.