Korean Indie

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I initially intended this post to be a long-ish kuda on Korean Pop, a cultural phenomenon that kids with arthouse tastes and oh-so-high brow sensibilities are wont to scoff at. My bedside reading last night, pretentious as this may sound, was K-Pop — The International Rise of the Korean Music Industry, and Inkyu Kang’s investigation on the political economy of the idol industry was one of the most interesting—and interestingly Marxist—articles I have encountered recently.

But I easily get distracted. I go on a click-trip and open tabs and tabs of resources until I end up losing track of what I set out to do in the first place. I have read some of Naya Valdellon’s poetry, agreed to Sid Lowe’s detailed analysis of the Neymar transfer saga, and rolled my eyes at a Google engineer’s anti-diversity manifesto — all while trying to write an evidence-based pagmamarunong on the allure of charming boys and girls with bleached hair and poreless skin.

So screw K-Pop for now and let’s settle with a list of old indie favorites instead. I used to listen to these songs tirelessly, especially during the early half of the decade when I was at my most pa-cool. I never truly gained the cool cred though so while these songs may not be as popular, my pedestrian taste believes they still belong to the poppier side of the music spectrum.


It’s You – Neon Bunny


봄봄봄
– Lucite Tokki


도레미
  – Donawhale


Harmonica Sounds – Yozoh


Face You – Casker


The featured image is from Donawhale’s self-titled album released in 2007 under Pastel Music, the music label that houses all of these artists except Neon Bunny.

13 thoughts on “Korean Indie”

  1. wow these are amazing! and ahah that book actually sounds interesting. and as for kpop, honestly i think its aesthetics have reached a whole new level that deserves more recognition than some mainstream North American pop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep! The book’s intro actually summarizes the k-pop aesthetic as a “mosaic that blends storytelling, music, group dance, body performance, and fashion show.” So true! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. wow that’s really accurate! and then there are the behind the scenes videos where all idols just turn into living memes lol

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  2. It’s interesting how many indie acts cleanly cross over to pop territory in Korea – Bolbbalgan4, for instance; a surprise hit from a quite low profile release. Perhaps it’s the ubiquity of Korean drama soundtracks…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Uy, never heard of Bolbbalgan4 before! Will definitely check them out. K-drama is a whole other beast and you’re right, they’re a good way to discover non-idol Korean music.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never did get people’s obsession with K-Pop. Tapos na talaga ko sa panahong nakikikanta ako sa mga kantang hindi ko naiintindihan, ehem, F4, ehem. Hahaha! Naguguluhan at nalilito ako sa dami ng idols sa isang grupo. Pare-pareho sila ng mukha sakin, jusq ang “tita” ko hahaha!

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      1. OMG! Samedt! Ayoko ng mga pandadarag ni Dao Ming Si, ang liit liit ni ate mo San Cai. Ang pogi niya ngayon! May napanood akong video nila na reunion kumanta silang apat shet I still know the words by heart hahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ermegerd ang gwapo niya talaga!!! At grabe ako rin kabisado ko pa, pati ‘yung opening song by Harlem Yu at closing song by Penny Dai! Hahaha.

        Like

      3. Nung pinalabas ulit sa ABS, kebs lang ako, tas may isang araw naalala ko scripting ko, tas biglang narinig ko sa TV ung closing song, napatayo ako at takbo sa harap ng TV sa office bwisit hahaha! Kakainis! Same effect pa rin!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes. Sa GMA ako nagsusulat nung nanonood kami ng Meteor Garden hahaha! Pero yun lang ang instance na naalala ko sa halos 4 years ko dun. Otherwise, nasa GMA or cable basta hindi ABS or other local channels. Series at movies din pinapanood ng mga tao dun pag may time hehe.

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