Every year more and more Korean musicians debut with music that is unlike any other, but it’s easy for talented new artists to get lost amongst the swell of the K-Pop industry. So we’re introducing you to some of our favourite little known Korean musicians that produce a wide range of amazing music!
First up is the Korean pop-duo Kisnue 키스누, whose music we were excited to discover when they debuted with the album Last of Everything We Were at the beginning of this year.
Kisnue has a laid-back, 80’s vibe and their music reflects their easy-going and thoughtful personalities.
Some of our favourite tracks of theirs include Cool Kids, a relaxed melody with heavy British indie-pop influences, Noise In My Head, whose lyrics really caught our attention, and Love Gets In The Way, which is a collaboration with Love X Stereo that really makes us feel like we’re at an 80’s party.
Wings of ISANG 이상의날개
Next up is a group we listen to on repeat – the Wings of Isang 이상의날개!
After releasing their music in 2011, this four member rock group – consisting of guitarist/vocal Moon Jung-min, guitarist Kim Tae-bong, bassist Ha Tai-jin and drummer Lee Chung-hoon – began making a name for themselves as one of Korea’s leading psychedelic, post-rock band.
Two of our favourite Wings of ISANG songs are Incense (향), a long, vocal-less instrumental, and Void Circle (공), which begins with Moon’s soft singing and escalates to a roaring crescendo – both songs feel like they belong on the album of a film soundtrack!
Fairbrother is the stage name for Jung Woo-young, who works both as a DJ, who goes by the name of Youngmond, as well as the Chief Editor for the magazine GQ Korea.
Although he worked as an editor for most of his adult life, in the beginning of 2017 Jung made his first album, Husband 남편, without hesitation – saying that, despite considering himself an ammeter rather than a musician, he wanted to have the chance to find out what truly makes a musician.
All of Fairbother’s music is heavily influenced by reggae and share a unique Caribbean vibe, making it both laid-back and stimulating to listen to – two of our favourites include 기쁨 (Pleasure) and 순정.
Kirara has been making their name known in the Korean electronic music scene for the past few years, and has focused their attentions on not only making incredibly unique music, but also contributing to the minority rights movement in Korea.
Describing their music, and themselves, as Pretty and Strong, Kirara’s music uses elements such as polyrhythms, drum beats and their influences, according to the artist themselves, comes from the seasons – with their winter works and summer works being rather different from each other.
Many of our favourite Kirara tracks make us feel like we’ve fallen into a vintage video game or some sort of cyber-punk universe where everything is bright neon – and two songs that capture this feeling are ct16041, from the album cts5 and pretty much every song on the album moves.
But another song we love is 이 지구에서 어떻게 살까요 or How Can I Live On Earth, from the album cts4, which shows how Kirara can go from a wordless electronic track to a slow song with piano accompaniment and meaningful lyrics.
National Pigeon Unity 전국비둘기연합
National PigeonUnity is a Korean alt-rock duo, based in Seoul, that prides themselves on using only vocals, guitar and drums – excluding their early work, no bass or keyboard ever make an appearance in their music.
Made up of guitarist/vocal Kidohu and drummer/vocal Park Young-mok, the National Pigeon Unity, or Union, originally debuted in 2007 with bassist Choi Seung-won, but since 2010 have progressed as a duo.
Describing their music as youthful and free, NPU have many songs with heavy rock influence, one of our favourites being Superseven, from their 2017 album Hero. But NPU have also shown their duality with some of songs from their album Root, such as NF, a slow, smooth track, and Breathless, who’s hollow melody helps listeners focus on the member’s vocals.
Mixing emotional rock with pop and hip-hop, Paperbag is a five member band that seek to fill their listeners lives with pleasing and comfortable music – providing comfort with their music and lyrics.
Each of Paperbag’s songs flood listeners ears with sweet, and sometimes intense, energy that showcases the group’s harmony as well as the member’s individuality! Our favourite Paperbag song is their 2015 track 안녕 (Bye), who’s rap-filled lyrics and powerful chorus makes us feel like we’ve been transported to an early 2000’s pop-punk concert.
Another song we adore is Groovin’ tonight, a fun track with a techno melody and heavy bass, that was intended to comfort those who live fast-paced lives and encourage them to find joy in their work-crazy world!
All these Korean musicians deserve more recognition than what they get, so go give them some love~!
Feature Image Source: ©전국비둘기연합, 24.05.2018, koreanindie.com