The colossal success of the K-Pop industry arguably over-shadows the creative diversity of music on the peninsula.
South Korea is home to numerous overlapping scenes - from rap to experimental via indie, and more - but much of the attention, perhaps understandably, falls on the shoulders of the K-Pop wave.
Well, that could be about to change. South Korea has established itself as an incredible hub for dream pop, with a flurry of bedroom producers, solitary aesthetes, and rising groups helping to build something fresh.
Each voice feels independent, but they're drawing on similar experiences, and a similar well of sonic influences.
nijuu is a beautifully evocative new voice, and her sublime EP 'nijuu in the forest' is out now - a short, intense selection of dreamy melodies, and incredibly personal lyricism.
Intrigued, Clash spoke to nijuu about South Korea's nexus of dream pop voices, and she had a few recommendations...
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'함께 무너지기 (Crumbling Together)'
I found him last year, he is an amazing producer. He is a DIY music producer. He records every track at his home. He started writing songs with an acoustic guitar but also he blends electric texture (using hardware synths or tape delays etc).
I love the texture of the sounds he uses - acoustic guitar with electric sounds. It's beautiful.
'꿈에서 걸려온 전화 (A Call From My Dream)'
She's one of the rising artists in Korea. She won the KMA (Korean Music Awards) prize for new artist of the year. She has a unique beautiful voice and also her own musical style. I love her lyrics as I feel she wanted to sing about relationships, social issues, love, and a lot more. I believe her electric guitar sounds make her music more special.
She is one of the most talented I've ever seen. I'm sure she's gonna be bigger in the future!
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I found his music last year. He used to make music under a different artist name called '5mg'. '5mg' music is mostly instrumental, he said he made that album just for fun (but some people still love that music). He changed his artist name as 'Pleyn' when he moved to Seoul. Then he used to collaborate with different artists. Now he's gonna change his artist name once more as 'mingyu'.
He wants to make music which can make people feel dreamy, happy through music. When I first heard his album 'Little Forest' I thought this is really something new.
If you love dreamy instrumental music, please check out his album!
I love them so much! There are two members in this group. Singer-songwriter Minsu and producer, singer-songwriter MOONSUN.
Each member's solo album is amazing as well. But when they are together, I realised that this is the music I've been waiting for. Because their music is pretty close to my dream. I really want to make this kind of music one day.
'I Feel Love'
I found her on SoundCloud like four years ago. At the time she was teenager, she was living in Malaysia, produced, wrote lyrics and recorded herself at her home. Her music was amazing. I've been loving her music since that time.
She went back to South Korea since then. She's trying to do a lot of different things. She was making lo-fi music on SoundCloud, now she's growing a lot. I believe she could be a pop-queen not only in the indie scene one day!
'Stay Here(여기에 있자)'
Their music has a passionate energy. Four members, they already started touring Asia last year before the virus spread. I hope they are going to be touring in the UK, EU, US soon. If you want to check out a youth band from Korea, please check them out!
SE SO NEON
No doubt amazing band. One girl, two boys - three members band! the main vocal girl HWANG SOYOUN who is so energetic and talented. also released her solo album. They are already big band in Korea. You should check out this young rising band!
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