5 New Korean Releases You Need To Have On Your Radar
BLOO, Lee Hi and GFRIEND are some of the artists we’re listening to this week
“When I Smoke,” BLOO
Rapper BLOO has a way of making you taste his pain with his songwriting, and his heady new single “When I Smoke” is no exception. He raps about how smoking a cigarette awakens memories of his ex-lover even as he vows to forget her. It’s a more soulful, dreamy offering than the dark trap we usually see from BLOO, veering into a contemporary R&B territory similar to his 2017 mega hit “Downtown Baby.”
“Holo,” Lee Hi
R&B super star Lee Hi made her much-anticipated return with the heartbreaking, bluesy ballad titled “Holo.” The track is her first release after signing with renowned Korean hip-hop label AOMG (led by Jay Park and home to Gray, Code Kunst and more.) While the lyrics are about learning to heal from loneliness, depression and taking care of oneself, the video portrays the vocalist as a guardian angel of sorts, both for herself and a young girl.
This singer-songwriter and producer needs more appreciation for his smooth vocals and detailed instrumentals. On “Antiriver,” Jiwoo builds layers of simmering jazz with slow, delicate piano and bluesy intricate guitar riffs. An absolute diamond in the rough.
“Dessert,” Hyo Feat. Loopy and Soyeon of (G)I-DLE
Girls Generation member Hyolyn uses her moniker Hyo to dive right into a genre she calls ‘jungle pop,’ an ambitious blend of the reggae/electronica-derived jungle and synth pop. Playful and fierce, the track features rappers Loopy and Soyeon (from popular K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE) and is built for summer dancehall parties.
The South Korean girl group made waves with their new comeback, the title track “Apple” particularly leaving an impression thanks to its breathy, haunting vocals blended with Eighties synth and percussion elements. GFRIEND explain the retro pop track’s haunting nature comes from trying to create the same effect as the songs of Sirens from Greek mythology.