EDITORIALS / K-INDIE

Lesser Stuff You Need to Know, Vol. 4

Drowningn00b brings us the last of the “Lesser Stuff” series of the year.

The last of this series for this year, and it couldn’t be a better list. It’s like the k-pop gods wanted my birthday month to be exactly what I wanted in terms of music. But enough about me, let’s get to the reason you’re reading this: the music you need to know.

Jaurim – “Abracadabra

Covers are an interesting phenomenon. I like them only if they bring a different take on the original.

DJ MASA’s mash-up (Not exactly a cover,) of Girl’s Generation and Muse hit the right note for me. “Run Devil Run” was originally a story of a girl wronged by her cheating boyfriend, but replacing the electronica with the new progressive rock of Muse’s “Uprising” made the song sinister. Not only does the song portray SNSD as a pissed off posse, but one that will burn your car down, too.

For “Abracadabra”, Jaurim took the BEG hit and made it very “Fatal Attraction”.

Doing a Mid-East/rock cover while toying with tempos and different vocal techniques, Jaurim took the hyper-sexual track of wanting someone else’s man and made it – at first – sensual, then a deranged tale of what it’s really like to be the other woman. Jaurim’s guitarist Sunkyu helps clue you in on the changing mental state, going from light and controlled to garbled and loud. Not only is this one of the smartest covers, but it is amazing to listen to, as well. From trip-hop to dance-rock, this track is begging for loud speakers to get the full experience.

This cover of “Abracadabra” highlights Jaurim’s talent on I Am a Singer and why they have been one of K-rock’s best acts.

watch here: (LINK)

Astro Bits – “사랑의 진실 Feat. Jung In

Astro Bits, alongside the uniquely talented Jung In, have done something I rarely hear in music; vocalist and production playing with and against each other. In “사랑의 진실“, a shoe gaze-y, electro-lounge track, both seemingly grow together, then she holds back while the production goes up, then both retreat and the pattern repeats. This song also plays with restraint, constantly chasing a high point but not exactly getting there. “사랑의 진실” is a different and nice take on the lounge template since BEG’s “Moody Night”. Lastly, Jung In is in fine form, her voice swelling along with the tune, both creating a soundscape that’s lush and ear-pleasing. For those looking for new and different, this is one place to start. There is also an English version of the song called “Starlight” with Michelle Shaprow for those interested in giving that a listen.

Listen here (LINK)

Sweet Sorrow – “첫 데이트

To fill the aegyo quotient this month, Sweet Sorrow made their debut with their quartet stylings on “첫 데이트”. This rookie group is going after other vocal groups, with their sweet harmonies and solid vocals. On “첫 데이트”, they strive for light and playful, with light piano, horns to punctuate the highs and hello’s aplenty. The climax is accentuated with fireworks of all things! That fact alone endeared me to these kids, though I think some of you will like them for the beginning of their MV. Sweet Sorrow are a talented quartet, enjoying what they’re doing, and “첫 데이트” is a great way to highlight both those aspects. I can’t wait to see where these gentlemen go from here.

BounceKidz – “도시의 밤 Feat. JD

Dance tracks don’t require much. Just a bass track to make you shake your booty, a few flourishes here and there, and a hook to sing-a-along to. Easy enough, one would think, but easy to fuck up. BounceKidz have done the hip-hop/dance genre justice with “도시의 밤”, a party-ready track. The beats are simple to follow, with a progression that gets better as you go along. The rap duo’s contrasting timbres and styles work well together, making it easy to differentiate the two. JD, the guest singer, is a great addition because of his higher register and ad-libbing throughout. All the elements meld together, creating a track that works playing quietly in the background or loud to get people dancing. “도시의 밤” brings Korean hip-hop out of its current doldrums and makes it fun again.

Monni – “Band Music

To finish off, Monni’s latest single is candy in music form. It isn’t complicated in its arrangement. It doesn’t go over your head with highly technical solos and its chorus is a piece of cake to remember. The execution of that simplicity makes you bang your head and dance like a fool. The keyboard arrangement at the end, plus frontman Shini’s high notes, add a frenzy to squeeze those last few seconds of bliss out of it. If that bass line at the beginning doesn’t tempt your feet to tap along, I don’t know what will. In a season where nights are getting longer, “Band Music” is one way to enjoy those additional hours.

Hope y’all enjoy these picks. Party safely for the new year!

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One thought on “Lesser Stuff You Need to Know, Vol. 4

  1. Keep it up! I like your song choices (most of the time, at least)!! There are so many lesser known groups and artists out there that even if I want to, I can’t listen to all of them. But with reviews and lists like these, I can listen to a few of them~

    FYI, Sweet Sorrow is not a rookie group. I don’t know exactly when they debuted, but they were around at least since 2007. They have their own radio show, and they’ve released a lot of songs, most famously, 아무리 생각해도 난 너를 (No matter how much I think about it, I…), a drama OST. They’re known for their soft acapella vocals, and their sweet love songs. =)

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