This song of the week is MAAN’s “Come Around”. The instruments are really what makes the song.
Hello! It has been awhile since I have posted on here. I have been busy with school, which makes it hard to focus on writing for this blog and just keeping up with all the new K-Indie and Spanish Indie songs. I will try my best to keep up with this blog for now on. Hopefully it goes well, I am not making promises though! But, I want to talk about my favorite songs of 2016. There were so many Korean Indie songs that I loved and I also got to see my first two K-indie groups perform live that year! So let’s get started with this list, these are My top 5 Korean Indie songs of 2016! It is in no specific order! It is impossible to choose my favorite song.
My Top 5 Indie Korean Songs of 2016
1.Yellow – Ainos
Yellow is a new band that debuted in 2016, so they only have two songs out, but I really like their vibe and their style. At one point last year, I was listening to their song, “Ainos” everyday. Their music is soft and calming to listen to, which is always pleasing to find in a band. This a group that people really need to be in a look out for. I cannot wait to listen to more of their songs.
2. SaltNPaper- Mine
I fell in love with the style of SaltNPaper, I truly felt that his music was made for me. My favorite song off his album, “Spin” was “Mine”. It is an acoustic song, which gives a hint of country to it, also become a very calming song to listen to. It is such a perfect song to play a night and it creates a very soothing environment. Since, MYK stopped writing Hip Hop and started doing more acoustic like music, he has been pumping out music non-stop and every song is truly amazing! They are not all acoustic, so if that is not your thing, you will find another song to love! He is one of my favorite artist of 2016 and I hope he keeps on pumping out more music this year!
3. I.NA (이나) – Like A Sunshine
This is one of those singers that I just found randomly when I was on YouTube one night. Her song “Like A Sunshine” is so upbeat but has some jazz to it. I also love the solo of the guitarist in the middle of the song, it gives a pinch of acoustic.I found other songs in another website, finding that she has such a classic and beautiful sound.I feel like she has a very unique style compared to the other K-indie singers that I listen to.
4. Barberettes Like I Do
These girls are one of my favorite groups of all time! I saw them perform at the “Hollywood Bowl Korean Festival” and they were one of the reasons I went to the event. They did an amazing job as the first group to perform. I hope I will get to see them perform in a smaller place just to be able to enjoy them more. At the end of last year, they came out with an album. I was ecstatic! One of my favorite songs was “Like I do” like always their song as a retro feel. They did an amazing job capturing the 1950’s in their song. It is very upbeat and happy. The song is an explosion of happiness and enjoyment!
5. Dead buttons Strangers
I got to see this group perform live in Kcon. They did have a bit of trouble when it came to adjusting their instruments (that was all Kcon’s fault). Besides that, I loved being able to see their excitement and passion when performing. Everytime I listen to “Strangers”, it gives me chills, also creating an urge to get up and dance around. This song truly knows how to up lift someone’s spirit. They have some harder song and softer songs. This one is perfectly in the middle, which I just love!
I hope you enjoyed my list! Also tell me what were your tops songs of the year! If you have any bands you want to share please comment them below I will love to hear from you.
I found Flor Amargo as I was listening to the youtube mix. As I was listening to music, while doing homework, I came across the song, “Busco Alguien” (Looking for Someone) which featured Mon Laferte. The moment my ears heard this song I became interested in the singers, then I heard Flor Amargo rapping a bit in the song and I just loved her voice. I realized that she wrote the song herself and I started listening to more of her music. She has a very unique sound, her music is very memorable and very her. I have listened to this song live on youtube, I personally prefer the studio song because all the instrument really adds to the dramaticness and emotions to the song as compared when singing it living, which is just with a piano. She is a very dramatic and expresses everything as she sings through her face. Her dramatic voice and gestures reminded me a lot of Cho Hyung Woo who has a very dark dramatic sound to his music. If there would ever be duet with a Mexican musician and a Korean one, I would be interested to hear them both together. Her sound which is also very circus and fantasy like really reminded me of the American group Man Man. They do not really have the same sound, but they both have a fantasy, Halloween (I do not know how to really describe it) like sound to their music, which I enjoy. “No te Atrevas” (Don’t Dare) is one of her songs that you can see her very dramatic gestures and voice. It so entertaining to watch and listen to her perform because she makes it like an act. She has recently been making music around a Circus theme an example of this is her song called, “ El Circo” (The Circus) it first sounds very trippy and it is like she is basically singing a story. As I mentioned perform, she is a very entertaining performer and that is why I have recently been really obsessed with her. Another song that has a very playful tune to it is, “Loca” (Crazy). She is really great at making her own sound, she truly deserves a lot more attention.
Here is a live performance of “Loca”
Flor Amargo’s Social Medias:
This weeks song is Dead buttons “16-22”. Awesome song and Awesome band, amazing live!
SaltnPaper is a group started by Michael Y. Kim (MYK). MYK is known for doing hip hop, as well as working closely with Epik High specifically Tablo. He decided to start SaltnPaper, therefore creating a new identity and furthering himself away from his hip hop image. SaltnPaper genre usually falls under soft rock and even folk music. I found out about him about a month ago or so. I do not know much of his work as MYK; I mainly know his work from SaltnPaper. So far he has 3 albums; “SaltnPaper” (mini album), “Awe Fine”, and his most recent one that came out this year is “Spin”.
After listening to all three albums, he became one of my favorite artist and maybe even my favorite artist of this year. His music is so relaxing and calming to listen to, it is easy to hear if you are doing homework, traveling, or just wanting to rest. He has a variety of English and Korean songs throughout the three albums. Every song he makes is amazing and you can see the hard work that is put into them. When watching him perform live, he becomes his music. The passion and the love can be seen through how he carries himself when performing.
First let’s talk about his mini album, “Saltnpaper”. The first song that I love listening to is, “Autumn”. It is a very smooth and relaxing, it has a very refreshing sound to it as well and creates a very comforting vibe. “LoveStrong” is another great song, this is a duet with Tablo. The rap and the softness that SaltnPaper has in his music mixes perfectly together. The two different styles of the artist is well heard in the song but well mixed. There are
more songs in the album but these are just a few I wanted to mention. As I was listening to his second album, “Awe Fine” I encountered the song, “Perfect”. It makes me feel as I am floating, but it also has impactful vocals by MYK. Then a girl’s voice appeared that gave the song a delicate sound. This voice sounded very familiar and it took me awhile to realize that it was Park Shin Hye. I was pleasantly surprised. This has became one of my favorite songs, her voice and MYK’s voice create such a perfect duet. This is one of his more folk like songs. The song “Rich Man of Ten” has a hint of Jamaican influence to it, but it is a lot more rock. This song has a bit more of a beat compared to others, it makes me want to move a bit more. The song “Choice” is one of my favorites of this album. He raps a bit more as well as sings. It is very flowy and creates a very cloud like feeling when listening to it, it is very transick like. This song shows both his vocal and rapping skills. The song “Heart of it All”, is one that I just love! It is very upbeat. It also has a simple but awesome message; everything is going to be okay. I love it songs that make me want to be in such a good mood and this is one of them. “One Heat” is one of the best songs off of the three albums (in my personal opinion) every time I listen to it, it gives me guess bumps. It is one that is constantly on my head. The vocals and the instrumentals are just so damn perfect. He has an English and a Korean version (with a duet), personally I enjoy his English version more, I guess because I can understand it and there is more meaning to it for me.
His recent album is, “ Spin” another great album. With all three he does not really change his style, which is something I like because it fits him perfectly, but this third album has a bit more of a 90s and early 2000’s feel. The album starts of with the song, “Mine” which is perfect. It is basically a sad love song but the instruments give off a bit more of a upbeat sound. I love the contrast between his lyrics and the song itself. His song “Heavy Muse” is not as soft at all, it is more rock, but it fits him very well. I really enjoy listening to , “ What A Place”, I love the piano background, every time he uses the piano in his music, I always seem to enjoy it. “What A Place” is more youthful because of the lyrics. When I listen to it my imagination is a lot more active, it is a lot more pure and innocent.
There are a lot more songs that I did not go over, but I just wanted to mentions the ones that stood out to me from each album. The SaltnPaper image that MYK has now is amazing and I feel like he creates a sound that you immediately associate him with. I cannot wait to listen to more, even though he has been putting out a lot of amazing music recently, but I just cannot get enough of him. If for some reason you have not listened to his albums go and do so now, trust me you will fall in love with his voice and musical talent.
Here is his music video for “One Heart”
MYK’s Social Medias:
I have recently started getting into the Mexican music world, mostly indie singers. I have found a group that I have recently been obsessed with; Los Daniels. This band consists of five members; Ismael Salcedo, René Lugo, Rasheed Durán, Carlos Palomares, and Alfonso Díaz.
I started listening to them at a perfect time because they have recently released their 5th studio album (I think), titled, “Inmortal” (Immortal). I have mainly been listening to this album and not really their older stuff, which I plan to listen to later on. I love every single song in the album, their first song I listened to was, “En ti” (In you), it is a flowy like song, that makes you move your head around. I would consider it a pop rock song. I love the climax of the song, it gives you a sense of freedom and just letting go. Their next song “Ahora” (Today) I would consider again a pop rock song. I cannot really describe how this song makes me feel, but I just really enjoy listening to it. Another song that I enjoy has a very interesting sound, this song is , “ Hasta Las Cenizas” (To the Ashes) featuring Lila Downs. This song perfectly combines the sound of Los Daniels and Lila Downs. If you do not know who Lila Downs is, she has a traditional Mexican sound.Her vocals sound amazing with the lead singers Ismael Salcedo, the duet of the two singers is just perfect. This song is one of the must listen to off of their album. Their last song of the album is “Te Seguiré” (I will Follow you), this song is a bit more alternative rock but not to hard. This group is very entertaining to listen to, if you are looking for a new group, you need to check them out and right now they are very active since their new album just came out.
Los Daniels’s Social Medias:
Flor Amargo ft. Mon Laferte
Both singers are incredible. I have been listening to Flor Amargo a lot and I cannot tell you how amazing she is. Her music has a very dark edge to it but it is very story-like. You need to listen to her to understand. In the future I will make a detailed blog post about her.
I.NA is a solo singer who seems to have been performing since 2010. Her type of genre is Jazz. Her sound is very relaxing and is perfect coffee shop music (so if you are into coffee shop music you will truly enjoy her).She recently came out with a full album titled, “Fall in Love with Bossa Nova”.
She recently came out with a single titled, “Like a Sunshine”. This was the first time I have ever heard about her and her music. I absolutely loved this song. I looked her up and started listening to her other music. Her song, “Like a Sunshine” is a lot more upbeat and seems to have a hint of flamingo style in it, which was created through the acoustic guitar that was in the background. I felt that it added a lot to this upbeat song. This song truly brings my mood up when I listen to it. It is very different from her other songs, while this song creates a cheery feeling in you , her other songs are a lot more relaxing. They are perfect if you are doing homework or if you want to be in a very elegant and relaxing environment. She also seems to love using the acoustic guitar as she sings, which adds on to the elegance of her voice. She also has an amazing cover of “Fly me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra. I absolutely love that song and I love seeing covers by different people because everyone always adds their own style to it, this is evidently seen with I.NA. She accustoms the tone to the song to fit her voice and her Jazz style, which is a different Jazz style compared to Sinatra . Sinatra’s song has a bit more of a beat, as I listen to this song I image dancing out late at night in public and just enjoying my time with a loved one;I get more passion from Sinatra. But what I love about I.NA’s version is that, she is a bit more serious. Her voice and the quietness of the instruments she uses gives the listeners a feel of relaxation, but also a sense of happiness by just listening to her voice.
Please check out her new single, “Like a Sunshine” it is very upbeat and i love the acoustic guitar that is playing in the song. It is a perfect song to uplift your day or night. She is a very pleasant person to hear perform and watch perform (from the online videos I have watched).
Check out her cover of Fly Me to the Moon .
I.NA’s Social Medias:
A amazing cover of, “Mr. Sandman” by the trio Barberettes.
Yellow is a new band in the Indie world. I do not know much about them, but they released their digital single, “Anios” in July 25, 2016. Their full album is called, “ALL EYES ON YELLΘW” it only include two songs which are, “Anios” and “Untitled”. They are made up of four members and perform British Rock. Even though they are a band, their song “Anios” has a very chill, calm feeling. It is really relaxing to listen to, but it also makes you want to move your body. I think it is a perfect song to perform live in a festival or in a small performances. While their song, “Untitled” is a bit more serious, just like the lyrics and has a very tired, depressing feeling to it. This song gives a very gloomy vibe; the lyrics and the tune fit perfectly with one another. This groups is just starting up, but I know that as they keep on creating more music they will start gaining a bigger audience in the K-Indie world. I am excited to hear more of their songs in the near future. If you have not listened to them, go and give them some support; they truly deserve it.
YELLΘW Social Media:
Listen to them on Soundcloud
The Barberettes are formed by three members So Hee Park, Sunnie Lee Kyeong, and Shinae An Wheeler. They started performing in 2012 and since then they have created many covers like, “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes , “Mr. Sandman” by The Chordettes, and more. Their music is based on the 1950s and1960s, therefore their genre is Doo-Wop and Korean Retro.
In 2014, they came out with their first and only album for now, “The Barberettes Volume 1”. Their album is truly incredible, it has 1950’s pop like songs and ballads. They have a diverse amount of songs, but still keeping with their 50s-60s style. Their first song in the album is titled, “Little Gals”, which has a traditional Korean sound, other songs in their album have this sound as well including, “Spring Greetings” which is a homage dedicated for the Kim Sisters. These traditional songs in their album are very pleasant and calming to listen to. “Little Gals” is more playful while, “Summer Night Dreams” takes a serious tone to it, the listener just wants to sit their and hear it because it creates a calming feeling within. While their next song, “ Kukerichoo” has more of an American 50’s beat, making you want to get up and dance;it’s a very playful song. One of my favorite songs off the album is, “ Summer Night Dream”, it is a more romantic song and you can feel the love bursting out of it . The songs throughout their album either make you want to get up and dance or just sit down and listen with curiosity. Every song is absolutely beautiful, they did an amazing job with their album.
Also their covers are always enjoyable to listen too, before I got into the whole Korean music world I use to love listening to retro music. Two of my favorite groups are the Beach Boys and The Chordettes, which they covered a song from both groups. The song being, “Mr. Sandman” and “Barbara Ann”. I was absolutely pleased hearing them cover these songs, they did them justice and I would love to see them cover, “L.O.V.E” by Nat King Cole . I also, had the pleasure to see them perform live in L.A, during the Korean Hollywood Bowl Festival, I was ecstatic to be able to see them here, which was something I never thought of. They are just amazing live as they are in their album. They had a joyful and classic vibe to their performance; I hope to see them live again soon, hopefully I would be able to see them much closer. If you have not listened to them, I highly recommend you to do so, especially if you are looking for a classic retro sound.
News: I am so excited because the Barberettes announced on their twitter that next month (September) they will have a new album coming out!! So have your ears ready to hearing new music!!! As soon as it comes out, I will talk about it on this blog, so please look out for that as well. . Barberettes social Medias: