It’s been a long time coming, but I’m back with my Lesser Stuff You Need to Know feature! And the winter has kept me in two states of mind: one of isolation and of reminiscing, and another of intense partying. Curious? Read on.
New funk group UpThatBrown has a great misnomer of a tag line. “Revolution of Funk Brass Band” will not push the genre of funk into new territory, but it will make you dance. And the opening cut, “UpThatGroove” blends brass and drums in expected ways, but it’s the irresistible bass that makes this track worth a listen. And the synth solo against the drums? Best use of the instrument this year. Hope to hear more from this group.
Let’s keep the party going, shall we? For their second single, rookie R&B group, Laybacksound, enlisted my favorite Hi-Lite Records rapper, Huckleberry P, for “Snatch Up”. A trio consisting of Yoo Hyun Chul on guitar, Cream on production and Han Kyul on vocals, they turn up the BPM on their mid-tempo suggestive name, with a disco-esque bass line and electro-dance effects. An added treat is Han Kyul and Huckle trying to say “snatch up”. Oh, Engrish, you never get old.
R&B singer 40’s latest single “듣는편지” is such a pretty song. With an acoustic guitar backing him up, 40 is the focus. A nasal singer, he uses his voice well, keeping his delivery within pleasing range, while still showing how good he is. And in the cold winter months, a warm melody and soothing singing will do the trick.
I grew up with big singers, so I had to include Oak Joo Hyun’s bombastic ballad, “Hemostasis”. Wide range singer and an exceptional belter, I was very happy to see Ms Oak return to the music scene after her musical hiatus after “I Am A Singer”. “Hemostasis” has everything, from piano, big strings and a large background vocal section, and still Joo Hyun comes out on top. I get goose bumps every time she sings the line, “I don’t cry”. Such a good song. Welcome back, Oak Joo Hyun. 보고싶어요!
I had to, I just had to. When she came last year with “Secret”, I skipped right by her. She sung nicely, but nothing kept my interest. I’ve always thought that okay is worse than bad. But Lee Hwan Hee and her production company knew that and glammed her up, to the point where she looks like a pin-up girl parody, straddling that giant motorcycle and winking an eyelash out of her left eye. But it was the neo-disco production style of “Monroe’s Heel” and the baffling connection between self-esteem, Marilyn Monroe and a zoom lens that stuck with me (why exactly must I care about a 0.6 lens?). Can definitely see this song becoming part of the vogue-ing scene, if kpop stretched that far.
And finally, with thanks to Chris from koreanindie, I found out that jazz group Ravie Nuage released their latest EP, “겨울노래”. It was the deceptively simple “Hwangi” that blew me away. With a somber piano, Pomu (뽐므) layers her own vocals, but not as an echo, but as dueling singers, something you have to pause and take in. just listen to it; you won’t regret it.
And there you have it! Been a while since #7, but it feels good to return to form. What do you think? Have a good one, Neighbours!