It’s only been a couple years or so since I started listening to Korean music, transferring from Japanese rock. Donawhale‘s self-titled album was the first album that really showed me the potential of Korean music outside of Kpop.
The 2007 album contains 12 songs. These 12 songs changed my opinion of Korean music entirely. This album is what Korean indie music is. For the past two years, I’ve listened to a lot of music, a lot of songs, listened to a lot of debuts; but this album is one of the best albums that I have ever heard.
The song “Echo” is the track that stands out among the rest. The tone of “Echo” at first sounds like it is a plodding song, not really deciding if it will just become a repetitive song in the first half of the album. What emerges from “Echo” is a strangely hypnotic tone. Even though the song might use repetitive instrumentation, it’s the combination of the vocals over the sparse instrumentals that makes the song amazing.
Donawhale contains some of the best representations of Korean indie even with four years having passed. For me, there is nothing better than listening to Donawhale during a slow morning or rainy day.
I suggest that Donwhale should be one of the first bands for a newcomer to explore.