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I was really happy to buy Park Joon Hyuk's 2nd album, Human Life, yesterday at Soribada. It had been such a long time since I had last heard any songs from him so it was great to refresh my memory and realize that he is one amazing artist. It's not a surprise though that he is able to deliver such magnificent music - after all, he is under the beautiful wings of Pastel Music.

The whole album is brilliant. It's packed with both mellow and experimental songs that all somehow have a really unique stamp on them. The innovative use of instruments and especially Park Joon Hyuk's "depressive" vocal are one of those stamps that really give the album some diamond-quality. I am pleased to have the digital copy of this album but I want my fingers on the physical one, too.

The song that first got my attention in this album was 강아지 (Puppy), I think it's also one of the most interesting songs. The beginning differs very much from other intros, which is why this track somehow popped up to me in the midst of everything else. The intro of 강아지 is somehow mysterious, which makes me want to hear more. Park Joon Hyuk's melancholic vocal only makes me more interested in the actual message of this song. Better find the lyrics somewhere.



Just because I want to show you also how creative the people working with Pastel Music can be, I'll post the title song Control as well. The creativeness can be seen both in the song but especially in the MV of it. The MV reminds me that of Zitten's song Happy X-Mas (War is Over) and I have to say that both MVs, as well as the songs, are really something that differs from other labels. Pastel Music always brings delight to my life.

 
 
 
 
03 March 2011 @ 06:14 pm
I rediscovered Vidulgi Ooyoo today and boy was I surprised. I used to dislike them a long time ago when I first heard their music. Just now I became a huge fan of them.

Vidulgi Ooyoo is a band that delivers some really fine shoegaze music. Songs filled with dreamy like rock, great vocals and psychedelic elements are definitely the kind of songs that hit me these days, and hard. Especially their song Elephant (from the 2008 album, Aero) is the kind of piece that I like - it has a nicely distinctive, also kind of psychedelic beat (there are some nice shifts from a calmer beat to a deeper one), yet, it still brings a beautiful softer side by making the distant female vocal the focus of the song. One can only stare into the darkness, listen and admire the beauty of this track.

And yes, my love for this song is huge now. Elephant-huge.



Want more samples of their songs? Then click yourself into Vidulgi Ooyoo's Last.fm page to find some bits. Also a free download of the track Even freedom is being offered there.
 
 
Music: Vidulgi OoyoO - I Might Be You | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
I have been a little late with my updates because I haven't been at home.
Anyway, last week my top 3 consisted of two already more familiar artists and one completely fresh one!

Last week my top weekly artists were:
Birdy Bitz Alien (23 plays), Yoon Sang (윤상) (15 plays) & BIG BANG (12 plays).


I discovered Birdy Bitz Alien last week - to my surprise he was actually the same person as Jelly Boy (해파리소년) aka Kim Daein, whose works I have loved already for a longer period (see my post on Jelly Boy over here). Kim Daein is also known as the bassist of the very appraised indie act, Apollo 18, who are about to begin their tour in the USA soon. I was so excited to find more music by this guy because he is a person, who creates masterpieces that make me fall into a psychedelic state of mind.

The song I like the most is from BBA's album Virtual Reality. Not Kid caught my ears' attention instantly. I think that this song, despite being an instrumental, somehow is able to tell a story. I'm not too sure what kind of story there actually is behind this piece but I think part of the interpretation is up to the listener to decide. I really like the growth of this song and also the sudden ending. It left me wondering why the beginning of the song is kind of calm and then again the ending is strong yet so sudden? Well, I have my own speculations and considering the title Not Kid, maybe this is a song of becoming an adult? Who knows, my thoughts always lead me into this interpretation - maybe this is also because I'm on the edge of adulthood myself. A great electronica instrumental all in all, ensured Kim Daein-quality.



I posted already my first take on Yoonsang's discography a few weeks or so ago (please take a look at it here), but I'm not done with him yet. His discography is so full of great songs that it is impossible not to post more of his pieces.

가려진 시간 사이로
has been one of my favorite songs from him ever since 2008. That's when I first heard the new, improved and polished 2008 version of this song. I actually prefer the 2008 version of 가려진 시간 사이로 but I have to say that there is nothing less admirable about the original version, which was first released in 1992. It is a really beautiful and catchy Korean ballad along with Yoonsang's beautiful vocal.



A quick look at Big Bang as well. I haven't been a fan of their latest works (esp. their 4th mini album title song, Tonight, seemed like a disaster in my opinion) BUT there is one exception I have to make. I have always been a fan of their Japanese song, Koewo Kikasete (声をきかせて) released in 2009. Why do I like it? Because it's nothing like most of their Japanese songs - that is, bunch of club bangers and other secondary songs - but Koewo Kikasete delivers a fine mid-tempo ballad that gives the actual singers of the group, Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri  time to shine. T.O.P and G-Dragon aren't that bad either, maybe their English is tad hard to understand, though.

 
 
 
 
27 February 2011 @ 11:50 am
I was really delighted to find some new rock music this weekend. A band named Peacock Green released their first self-titled mini album on 25th of this month. Filled with melodic rock and some more melancholic songs, I think Peacock Green's release is definitely something that every friend of indie rock music should check out.

My favorite out of the bunch is definitely a song called Mary Jane. The reason why I love this song is the intro. The song starts with some heavy drumming, and that's why I sort of expected it to grow into an even heavier rock song. But like very often, my assumptions were wrong and I was being surprised pleasantly with a lovely piano melody that finally catches up with the drumming. Plus I am really fond of the male vocal here - he delivers the lyrics with a nicely trembling and raspy voice.



In order to make you convinced that Peacock Green's release is something you should go for and explore, I'm posting a video that includes samples of the songs included in the mini album. The samples are quite short but I can assure you though that this record is worth buying.

 
 
Music: Ja - Good Morning | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
23 February 2011 @ 10:09 am
I would like to dedicate this post to an artist called 달빛요정역전만루홈런 (in English: "A moonlight fairy's come back with a grand slam home run") aka Lee Jin Won, who passed away on 6th November 2010 at the young age of 37. The news came to me as a surprise because I had only a while before his death got to know some of his albums. I think he delivered fascinating music - great indie rock & sweet ballads. It is so saddening to see such a great artist be taken away. This will be a post in memory of him.

The first song I discovered from him was definitely 주성치와 함께라면 which I first heard in the Mint Paper Project album, Life. It's a nice mid-tempo indie rock song. What I especially love about it is the beginning and how the chorus grows time after time and creates a nice powerful end to the song.



유리 then again is a little more like a kpop ballad you hear in the releases from the beginning of 2000s. It's no surprise though that the songs sounds like that because it was released in his debut album, Infield Fly, back in 2004. It's a really beautiful ballad and what really got me hooked to this song was once again the great intro in the beginning. The contrast between the strong beat and the vague but lovely vocal really fascinate me (always do, maybe you've noticed that I like the type of songs that have a strong but slow beat & a beautiful vocal).

Once again, goodbye Lee Jin Won. Hopefully you'll rest in peace and hopefully your music will continue to live on. I'll express my condolences to his family and friends with this blog entry.

 
 
 
 
 
It's not Sunday anymore - and had I posted anything about this artist on Monday right after the Sunday sunset, it probably would have been better. So yes, the artist I'm going to feature today is called Sunday Sunset. I'm a huge fan of Korean male solo artists like Epitone Project, Toy and Oldfish. If you like any of these great male performers, you'll probably fancy Sunday Sunset, too.

I fell for Sunday Sunset's style instantly - a one-man-band with a nice and unique sound, can you possibly ask for more? Sunday Sunset's music is acoustic indie-pop flavored with some electronica. One of the first songs I discovered from his collection was Beautiful; it features 3rd Coast's great female vocalist Han So Hyun - her girly voice together with Sunday Sunset's definitely brings another dimension to the song. I'm quite sure that the album name (But I Dreamt All Night) came from this particular track. I will describe this song with the help of its own lyrics:

I remember the day when I
got myself my first guitar
I didn’t have a clue how to play it
but I dreamt all night
and to me it was beautiful

Funnily enough, I actually dreamt that I was playing a guitar skillfully. Maybe I'll buy one and become the next Sunday Sunset. Erm, or maybe more like depressing Monday Morning, though.



Then my absolute favorite from Sunday Sunset - I'll Bring Flowers. I sang this for... some special person. Too bad I wasn't actually able to bring flowers to this person because of the fact that it was still winter back then. I'll Bring Flowers is a really nice mid-tempo song with romantic English lyrics that you could sing for the person you love. Btw, Soulvirtue has come to stay - won't you take my hand?



Want to convince yourself more before purchase / just want to hear more samples? Please go to Sunday Sunset's Last.fm page (http://www.last.fm/music/Sunday+Sunset). Click the album title and you'll be able to see the whole tracklist with short samples included.
 
 
 
 
I checked out my Last.fm charts for last week and it seems like there's even some Finnish music in the top 3, how surprising!

Last week my top weekly artists were:
EZ Hyoung (이지형) (26 plays), Kimy Fiesta (15 plays) & PMMP (13 plays).


I'll start off with the Korean music, since this blog is mainly about Korean music anyway!

EZ Hyoung, a solo artist coming from Happy Robot Records, has been one of my favorite artists ever since 2008 when I first heard his second album, Spectrum. He has that laid back acoustic sound to his music - his songs are relaxed and simple. EZ Hyoung can really make the best out of catchy melodies and also come up with funny / meaningful English lyrics.

The funniest and probably my favorite song from him is the song called Beatles Cream Soup. His English is rather good and you just enjoy listening to this song. It has a distinctive rhythm and the chorus just makes me smile. Beatles Cream Soup, would love to try some!



And just because I can really adapt myself to this song, Nobody Likes Me, I'll post it, too. Even Jason Mraz sang this song! The song title / lyrics tell everything you need to know about me, heh.



Kimy Fiesta is one of those artists that come up with the most interesting instrumental music. His songs feature many popular hiphop artists, too, although the song I'm going to post actually features the female singer Mellow as the vocal. I'm a big fan of Kimy Fiesta's instrumental-only songs 빨간색 편지 (A Red Letter) is also among my favorites. The electronica vibe and the strong beat really charm me a great deal in this song. No doubt, this somewhat sweet-sounding (hey, Mellow's singing - it can sound nothing but sweet and mellow then) mid-tempo track works.



PMMP then again is a Finnish female duo and they are actually one of the few Finnish artists I agree to listen to voluntarily. The best thing about their music is actually the Finnish lyrics - they tell great stories of misunderstood people, life, love or just random things. The PMMP ladies, Paula and Mira, write the lyrics by themselves. It's astounishing how creative these women are. The composer of their music then again is a person called Jori Sjöroos and I have to say that he's a creative individual, too! The catchy, melancholic rock melodies are a trademark for this duo. They have some nice upbeat rock / pop songs, too, but I prefer their melancholic sound.

Viimeinen Valitusvirsi ("The Last Jeremiad / Lamentation") from the album Veden Varaan is one of their best songs in my opinion. The lyrics are really powerful (a story about a person who constantly whines about his / her life, the duo pleads the person to stop complaining and live on; it's a bit like a response to EZ Hyoung's Nobody Likes Me) and so is the music itself. Not maybe their trademark music or the kind of song that'd make everyone say "Oh, this is definitely PMMP's!" but it's one of my favorites anyway.

 
 
Music: 해피페이스 - 보여 | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
I have already months earlier praised one of the most inspirational artists in Korean music scene and that is My-Q (see my last post about him here). A month or so after that particular post of mine, My-Q came up with his third album called For this, I was born. Since he sort of claims that he was born to make this album, it's no wonder why the outcome is so fascinating. Even the actor Gongyoo is a fan / friend of him (My-Q is the mastermind behind Gongyoo's song For this time and his imprint can definitely be seen in this composition.)

The greatest thing about My-Q is that he can bring variety - and that's something I really love about artists. Plus, he is rather experimental with his music, which makes him the kind of artist that inspires other people. My-Q's third album is the best yet - he brings nice pop ballads with an R&B touch, but also more of those upbeat songs that have some influences of the 1980's music. He delivers pop in a way that is very different from any other Korean artist.

First Sight Love is a lovely and strong upbeat song that really makes you want to stroll / strut in the streets of Paris with the one you love (notice the French narrations, lovely add). Even though this song was released last autumn, it really takes me back to the beautiful spring days.




Oh Seoul
then again is a song inspired by Hall & Oates' song Las Vegas Turnaround. I liked H & O's songs already before I heard Oh Seoul but I have to say that My-Q just makes H & O sound even better. I may be the only one who feels like this but I still think that My-Q just brings that extra something to every song he touches. This is a sweet mid-tempo song and definitely makes me want to travel back to Seoul. Oh, Seoul, my soul, I really do miss you and your people.

 
 
Music: My Aunt Mary - 락앤롤 스타 | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
The rock/hard rock act Yellow Monsters debuted in summer 2010, during my 3-week-holiday in Korea. If I had been able to use computer more often there, I probably would've been able to notice these guys way earlier and also experience their live music performances. But of course, unlucky as I am, I missed their first self-titled album release completely and was able to notice it only after I had already come back from Korea.

I fell instantly for their raw and rugged, yet, ballad rock sound. To my surprise, they were a band consisting of members from some of the most popular names in the Korean indie scene (My Aunt Mary, Deli SpiceOmega 3, GumX - all bands that I like). I guess you can say that Yellow Monsters is a bit like a combination of these bands, there's hard rock, punk, soft rock and so on, mixed together. Because I'm a friend of both harsh - but not too harsh (not really a fan of growling heavy metal vocals, heh) - and soft music, Yellow Monsters definitely makes a perfect band.

Metal Gear
is an example of their more harsh sound. It's been one of my favorite songs ever since last summer and I keep singing to it occasionally. I really love the cooperation of the guitars & the drums, makes me want to buy a guitar myself and start moshing.



Benjamin then again is one of YM's ballads. They recently released a new single that included both the original and the acoustic version of Benjamin. I like both of them and although I prefer the original, I'd rather post the acoustic one just because I find it extremely relaxing after the exhausting few days I've had.

 
 
Music: Apollo 18 - Warm | Powered by Last.fm
 
 
I fell for Trampauline when I first heard their song Dreaming of White Christmas that was included in a christmas compilation album by Pastel Music (Merry Lonely Christmas and Happy New Year). I was so excited to hear experimental christmas music instead of the usual carols. The thing I love about the whole compilation album (and especially Trampauline's song) is actually the fact that the songs aren't overly filled with christmas clichés, like the jingle bell sounds. The song is refreshing and I see myself listening to Dreaming of White Christmas also during summertime. Actually, the lyrics talk more about summer rather than christmas:

I am dreaming of a white Christmas
It seems so far to come along
Here people go dancing
With the waves of blue sea
Feeling the bright sun
On their backs


So during wintertime I'll just dream of summer and eventually, during summertime, I will listen to Trampauline and pretend that I dream of white christmas. Ahhh, heaps of white snow and the -39 celsius temperature - wintertime, I sure will miss you! Please sense the sarcasm of mine.



Now this is the kind of performance I would have loved to see in one of the Seoul metro stations! Another song by Trampauline that I discovered only a while ago - Anthropology. What can I really say about this song? I can't describe their music with any other words than: purely & amazing. Maybe "quirky" electronica?  Quirky in a REALLY good way, though!



I recommend everyone to purchase their first self-titled album in Soribada. If you want to hear some of the tracks included in the album, please go to their Last.fm page: http://www.last.fm/music/trampauline