Hyukoh’s new EP ’22’ was released just last week. I’ve listened to the album a few times through and below is a quick review of each track!
Track 1 – ‘Settled Down’ is an upbeat song with an island feel. The sound reminds me of an Australian indie band called Last Dinosaurs. I like the way the song builds slowly and there’s an awesome guitar solo halfway through. Hyukoh often writes English lyrics for their songs and this track is one of two tracks on 22 with all the lyrics in English. I hope this will encourage more non-Korean listeners to check the band out.
Track 2 – ‘와리가리 (Comes and Goes)’ is another upbeat track with a fun, catchy chorus and I really enjoyed the music video which shows the members of the band playing instruments, chilling and just being their quirky selves (below with English subs)
Track 3 – ‘큰새’….hmmm the best way I can explain this one is a rock track with R&B style vocals – a perfect encapsulation of Hyukoh’s unique sound. If I had to pick, this track would be my favorite.
Track 4 – The slightly echoing vocals in ‘Mer’ are less like an integrated part of the track than they are layered over the instrumentals, hovering above them, giving the song a haunted feel. The vocals have stronger impact sound-wise than lyrically.
Track 5 – I’m obsessed with the intro and outro of ‘Hooka’ and although those vocals were intended as a background for the rest of the song I wish they had been isolated a bit longer. ‘Hooka’ is a solid track but it’ll take a couple more listens for me to fully appreciate the song.
Track 6 – A different version of ‘공드리 (Gondry)’ was included on Lucky You!, Primary and 오혁(Oh Hyuk)’s collaboration EP. I’m partial to that version because it’s the first one I heard and is more upbeat but overall Gondry is just a solid song so I liked this version as well.
And for a special treat, below is Hyukoh’s recent performance on Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook. My friend Crystal was in Korea and got to attend the live recording. I’m not super jealous or anything…enjoy the performance below!