The other day I was scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions when I ran across a 15-second teaser for the SugarBowl x Soulites collaboration ‘Miss’ (to be released on March 16th). Shout out to 1theK (Loen Entertainment) for featuring indie artists in addition to K-pop artists on their channel. I recognize that I have been neglecting the indie side of things on this blog so when I saw this teaser I wanted to learn more about the groups and write about them!
I think it is harder for foreign fans to learn about indie bands because they seem to gain the most exposure through small local concerts and Korean music portal sites. It is also harder to get English translations of lyrics for these bands because they aren’t as widely known. More well-known indie groups have gained exposure through OSTs for popular Korean dramas. For example, SugarBowl did the theme song for Plus Nine Boys and JRabbit and particularly Acoustic Collabo were featured on much of the OST for Discovery of Love.
Soulights (소울라이츠) is an R&B/Soul band (picture at the top of this post) consisting of vocalist Jung Eun-seon, Son Chang-hak on keyboard, Jung Jae-hoon on bass and Kim Doo-hyeon on the drums. They released one mini album, Seoulites, back in 2008 and since then have released two full albums, Seoulitude (2012) and Solace just last year. They are excellent live:
Hmmm I vibe with them. Their sound reminds me so much of the jazz and neo-soul I grew up listening to with my dad, only in Korean. I would love to see them in concert.
Sugarbowl (슈가볼) is an indie rock band with a main male vocalist, Changin Ko, accompanied by musicians (sometimes on keyboard/guitar/drums/bass like in the video below). One of their most popular songs is ‘Love Pieces’. Something I enjoy about indie/rock bands is the high level of musical quality. I would say that nowadays there are few K-pop artists who play instruments well so it is refreshing to hear really talented musicians at work.
The Papercut Project, formed in 2012, consists of Changin Ko from SugarBowl and two other artists, Yoo Kyung Pyo and Kim Doo Hyeon (the drummer from Soulites I would assume). Listen to their song ‘파도만 남은 밤’ and watch the beautiful music video below (Where is this?? Ugh so pretty)
Often after watching music videos for Korean indie songs, I feel like I’ve seen a full-length film. Each video is a mini-cinematic experience. I think I will do a post soon on my favorite Nell music videos.
Please look forward to more from these groups and a review of the single ‘Miss’ soon! Follow Soulites, SugarBowl and the Papercut Project on social media through the following links:
Changin Ko Personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/mistako
Paper Cut Project