For the month of December, we have been working hard to bring you a bumper crop of music in the last edition of the Music Release Roundup for the year 2016! Read on to find out about releases from Uhm Jung Hwa, Suran, EsNa, the EastLight, GLABINGO, Luna x Shin Yong Jae on SM station and more!
Uhm Jung Hwa-‘Watch Me Move’
One of the original divas, first generation Kpop singer, actress and clothing designer Uhm Jung Hwa has returned to the stage with her album ‘The Cloud Dream of the Nine’. Uhm Jung Hwa is admired by vast numbers of junior singers in the music industry for her longevity and versatility. She collaborates with SHINee’s Jonghyun on track 1 ‘Oh Yeah’ and with Lee Hyori on track 5 ‘Delusion’. The sound of the album is very much throwback, with nods to dance and disco. There are 2 MVs available to watch, one for ‘Dreamer’ and the other for ‘Watch Me Move’.
Our recommendation is to check out the latter of the two; Uhm Jung Hwa shows off her maturity in ‘Watch Me Move’. The styling is similar to old Madonna music videos, and the choreography is slightly Lady Gaga-esque, which is a good balance of old and new. The costumes make us think of Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You out of my Head’, and all the dancers (male and female) are all dancing in heels, which is no mean feat! There are fun transitions between major and minor keys, whispered phrases, drums and disco beats in this very catchy song. One to keep an eye on!
Suran is one of our favourite female vocalists! (Read our K-Spotlight article about Suran here) ‘Winter Bird’ is a ballad track which stands out from the rest of December’s slow tempo tunes, due to its highly emotional delivery. Suran’s voice sounds very raw here, accompanied by the soft sounds of piano and strings. We recommend that you listen with headphones so that you don’t miss any of the effect of the breathiness of her voice in the verses and when it soars during the chorus. The MV simply has Suran singing in the lightly falling snow. It is a beautiful yet haunting track, singing of heartbreak. The benefit of self-penning songs means that she has the best understanding of what she wants to portray to her audience. She introduced the song with the following words:
Have you ever been hurt from a love like a day in heavy sad snowing Winter? Yet, if you are still believing in love, I would like to sing this song for you.
It was so painful that I cannot forget it nor it wouldn’t be forgotten; so I would like to put those memories in this song, and let this “Winter Bird” fly away.
Like blooming flower in a lonely desert, although we were hurt and fell, let us still believe in this thing called love.
With my heart and hope that this song would be the strength for those who have been hurt from love. Just like my Winter bird.
eSNa works with the same company as MAMAMOO, Rainbow Bridge World. She is a singer-songwriter and is also a radio DJ. Her sound is mainly jazz influenced, and she is fluent in English, which means that sometimes she releases two versions of songs! This is the case here, with new release ‘Attention’. We want to highlight the Korean version here, but check out the English version too! When eSNa starts to sing, you just know that it’s going to be super-cool. This song is like a final warning to a man, that she is on the verge of leaving him. Her voice suits the jazz-vibe to a T, and is a welcome change from most other December releases. With a sound reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, this is a song to turn up loud!
The EastLight are a very young band, with an average age of 15. They are using their youthful energy to promote classic garage rock. Their debut song ‘Holla’ is one of those infectiously catchy tracks like Hanson’s ‘Umm Bop’; very bright and with a pop guitar riff that repeats nicely and recurring hook. They are very raw and new, with a fresh feeling from highly choreographed groups. They also featured in our covers article, we recommend having a look at their cover version of Twice’s ‘TT’. We do question their choice of promoting in curly haired wigs and boiler hats though (as can be seen in the official MV)! Watch them having fun ‘sans’ outfits, wigs and gimmicks, with a natural performance on music core below!
Solo singer GLABINGO, made his debut with digital single ‘As Feel’. GLABINGO is a young singer-songwriter at a mere 17 years old. We are already impressed that he is able to compose, arrange and sing his own songs! The B-side is ‘Memories Latte’ which you should also check out; it has a completely different sound to the main track, a sweet song where he sings about growing up. We want to highlight the RnB track ‘As Feel’ for its artistic MV, where image projections, lights, scenery and dance are all creatively merged together.
Luna x Shin Yong Jae-‘It’s You’ (as part of SM Station)
Luna of f(x) and Shin Yong Jae of 4men collaborated as part of the SM Station project for ‘It’s You’ which we think is up there with the better Christmas songs of 2016. A waltz-like ballad with an animation MV portraying the love of a toy couple. The soft harmonies of the two singers underpin this easy-listening song. Best enjoyed while watching the MV, which makes clever use of swinging platforms and the rules of the toy world created by the animator. A pleasant change to other music videos out in December!
Bonus: Dalshabet-‘Someone Like You’
Lastly, we want to highlight a song from this year that we think was very under-rated at the time of its release. This time it’s Dalshabet with their song ‘Someone Like You’ which was originally promoted at the beginning of 2016. This track had no wins on music shows or any other accolades to it’s name, but it still stands as one of the catchiest songs of the year for us! The song sounds upbeat, yet the lyrics are a message to someone, telling them that you hope they find someone as nasty as they are. Retro done well is the best thing ever! Leader Serri also danced to this song with Haeun, a young dancer, which was adorable (watch it here).
Take a listen to ‘Someone Like You’ if you haven’t already, you won’t regret it 🙂
What do you think of December’s bumper edition Music Release Roundup? Did you discover any new music? Let us know!
Featured image source: © GLABINGO. 1the K. 27.12.2016. 1theK official Facebook