K-Indie can range from indie bands to hip hop and R&B artists in the underground scene. Your success can depend on many different factors, be it good music production, meaningful lyrics or even the ability to find the right artist. With an appetite for different styles of music, our authors, Aaron, Janine, and Karen Get together to discuss the indie artists who have stood out in the past six months.
Karen: When we look at everyone's decisions, we seem to be having a pretty interesting discussion. Without overlaps and with a range of genres, from hip hop to singer-songwriters, our lists are very different. But I somehow chose producers Code art and Authentic, both from the same hip-hop crew, Legit Goonswhen my two top picks.
Regardless, the artists in my list all channel the same intimate, thoughtful mood in their recent works. My affection for them may come in response to the depressing global situation and the gray clouds that hang in the last six months of 2020. Aaron, your selection fluctuates towards K-hip-hop artists, while Janine, your list, is a mix of hip-hop and indie bands. Do you see any similarities between the artists you selected? Or are there other reasons for your respective decisions?
Janine: Legit Goons is well represented on our lists: With my BLNK entry, we have three of eleven members! My list is a mix of genres, but I try to be an adventurous listener, so in the end I like a lot of different things for different reasons.
BLNK first piqued my interest because he has a great voice. Baritones and alto voices attract my attention. I immediately noticed his voice and expression and I liked it even more with repeated listening. I enjoyed how groovy and funky FLAME was and how familiar I found the sound. It immediately reminded me of some of my favorite sounds from the golden age of hip hop. Outkast, Naughty by nature, Nas, and Jay-Z have probably perfected the use of radio instruments in rap music, but BLNK has got the hang of getting into the groove. The funk elements are recorded and mixed in a way that sounds lively, and delivering boom bap over a vibrant, organic canvas is a treat. BLNK also uses split stereo panning in a playful way. I love it when a rapper whispers in my ear. I appreciate how much I paid for my headphones.
Aaron: Admittedly, my picks fluctuate on the hip-hop side of things! It's been a great year for K-Hip Hop. Nafla Just hit DPR Live than my favorite hip-hop release so far. Nafla really moved me in a similar way to Mac Millers swim and Circles because they're all so intimate and well composed.
The commonality between my picks can therefore be seen in the fact that the composition of the respective publication is composed intimately and uniquely. Jjangyouwave took me on a journey similar to Janine's top choice Se So Neon did with non-adaptation. Code art is a surprising new top pick, so I have to ask Karen what you think of People (with BLNK!) And how you think it will stand up to Muggles & # 39; Mansion.
Karen: There are many similarities between Muggles & # 39; Mansion and People, and Code Art does not disappoint in the lineup of presenting artists on People. However, there is a significant shift in tone between the two albums, although Code Art maintains its own unique taste in music. Muggles & # 39; Mansion was thoughtful and dark and invited the audience to enter the realm of the producer's mind. On the other hand, the sound that comes through people is more open and tries to build bridges between experiences.
Perhaps one of the larger albums that have been released in the past six months. People fascinated me with his honesty, which results from both code art and the artists he presents in his album. We get another foretaste Lee Hi, Car, the garden, and NucksalWorking with him, but also like a variety of other artists Giriboy, Jvcki Wai, Loopy, and so on.
For people in particular, Code Art focuses heavily on the use of voices, often in fragments of language, and an experimental approach to its composition. But even with tracks like “Set Me Free” and “Get Out”, in which automatically tuned voices play an important role, the songs in this collection are never extravagant or arrogant. The simple instrumentals always inspire with songs like "Woode" and "F (ucked up)". People shows a changed attitude of the producer who seems to have stepped out of a closed inner world and is now trying to create connections between individuals with an album like People.
Artists like Jjangyou, Nafla and Se So Neon have received a lot of attention in the past year or two. How do you think they have changed with their works since their previous releases this year and how did that appeal to you?
Aaron: Nafla may be the last star to come from the SMTM formula. Admittedly, I was expecting a rap-centered record, similar to Loopy and Kid MilliNew records. Partially. 1 of u n u was overwhelmed, however, as each track seems to be linked to a theme of love and longing, while the instrumentation plays with this beautiful mix of live instruments and hip-hop production. Part. 2 of u n u played more according to my original expectations, with great features (dean, Gaeko, Colde, and Bibi) and popular hip-hop music conventions.
Jjangyou, on the other hand, didn't benefit much from SMTM. That being said, his latest record is his best! I mean, you want your art to be challenging as long as the Eureka moment is cathartic. Wave is that, as a record producer, I really had to struggle with his quick lyrics and the rap-oriented approach to his opening tracks.
But wow, this record has grown on me and has developed as Jjangyou's most definitive sound statement. Jjangyou plays with the darkest soundscapes in hip hop, so it's hard to call him rap at this point. He is just an innovator who plays with sounds that only become popular years later. I really hope that he and Se So Neon get the right attention they deserve this year!
Janine: This is my cue to rave about mismatch. Many people got to know Se So Neon through DEAN & # 39;s "Instagram" as guitarist on the track Hwang So-yoon, you lead singer and guitarist. I could claim bragging rights when I discovered their music through a random recommendation while listening from the menu (Another amazing, underestimated act). I strive to be the hipster of all of you, older sister, what can I say … Se So Neon has always been an unforgettable voice for her technical virtuosity, the depth of her references to blues, jazz and classic rock, so-yoons , praised and creativity. That is well-deserved praise.
Nonadaptation is just as complex, technically ambitious and well executed as Summer Plumage Fancy the moon and Gangtos Exit. new member Hyunjin and U-su seem more than able to deliver the experimental, skillful instrumentation fans fans expect. And so-yoon's lyrics and vocal performance on the album are fascinating. Some of the texts reminded me of modernist poetry with pictures like "The man who tramples over the moon spilled over the alley, a secret in his pockets" in "Stranger". I mean? It is poetry.
How important are texts in your selection, especially when you consider that there is an abundance of hip-hop artists?
Karen: More than the lyrics that struck me, I was enchanted by the atmosphere that resulted from both the instrumentals and the vocal deliveries in Authentics Haus. Use of Owell mood As the voice of the album and occasionally mixing with artists, & # 39; s House captures a snapshot of an ordinary, thoughtful day. Although there are more groovy tracks like "Subway", a large part of the songs in this album are based on simpler lyrics and melodies that are characterized by melancholy. Owell Mood's soft and soothing voice really helps to involve the listener in the thoughtful, quiet tone of the album. Even a simple sentence from "I only pray for sunrise" in "Sunset" is conveyed so gently and hard that I cannot be captivated by it. A bonus for me was the discovery of Nucksal on “6:42”, a smooth track that doesn't match his usual hard, spitfire rap style. Of course the product is wonderful, but I was still surprised when I first heard it.
Aaron: "Sundown" is my trail! Owell Mood's vocals are just wow.
Karen: Speaking of delightful singing, RonelThe lower register as a singer was unusual and soothing. She has only three individual publications in 2020 and only a few in her entire repertoire. However, she has proven to be a permanent artist with her own charm.
Of their 2020 tracks, “slmf” tends to a lo-fi song, while “Call It” has a slightly more optimistic acoustic composition. My favorite must be "Spring & # 39; s Gone" with a more conventional ballad style version. It is not a song that is extravagant to demonstrate its sadness, but one that is resigned and embraces in its tender delivery. When I hear it, I feel comforted and it really is a tune that is very kind to its listeners when it comes to loss and waiting.
Was it the lyrics that caught your attention for your selection, Aaron? Or was there something else that drew you to them? And what about Janine? Lacuna has other potential candidates on your list to make it into your top 3?
Aaron: Text is important. However, if I can't put together a translation, I chase the vocal performance. This way, non-Korean speaking listeners fall in love with Korean music without knowing a single word. It is also what did more common stand out from Owell Mood, Bibi, Vinci or Sik-k this year.
Even if I haven't solved all the words in her EP yet, Sunbeams; That didn't stop "T-Shirts" from killing me every time or having their songs in my head for months. It is a testament to how it gives emotions to every word. Admittedly, "Sick Light" hit me straight away because it comes only from English, but everything comes back to her penetrating vocals. I believe that a beautiful vocal performance is invisibly tied to its lyrical content, which means something important for the singer.
Janine: I feel the same way, Aaron: Even if you don't know exactly what someone is saying, you can attract their performance. Lacuna's six-lane EP Garden has no translations and I'm not a Korean speaker so I don't know exactly what Jang Gyeong-min sings about it, but I was impressed with the mood and performance.
Like Karen, the atmosphere created by the entire project attracted me to this EP. Garden is a psychedelic, awesome, and surprisingly coherent project considering it's only the third in the group. Garden offers a range of optimistic, atmospheric, sun-drenched tracks like "Carriage" and "Sloth" as well as delicate acoustic ballads like "Lake".
The vocal performance, which reminds me of the best of early 2000's pop rock, is complemented by outstanding individual performances on drums, bass and guitar. This record is a complete work that can easily be inserted as a soundtrack to a great summer.
The group is still pretty dark with less than 1,000 followers on Spotify, but trust me if you like surf / indie rock: Lacuna is one to watch.
What do you think of the indie acts that have stood out in the past six months? Did you manage to find new listeners with our discussion or do you have your own recommendations? Let us know!
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