Getting into the genre categories of the 10th Korean Music Awards, we started off with the Best Rock nominees yesterday. Today we continute with the nominees for Best Modern Rock Album & Song, again recycling a bit of text on the albums and songs already covered already when we went over Album and Song of the Year last week.
Best Modern Rock Album
3rd Line Butterfly – Dreamtalk
In September 2012, long running indie rock band 3rd Line Butterfly released fourth full-length album Dreamtalk. It had been a full eight years since the third full-length album was released, and three years since the band returned from a long hiatus with EP Nine Days Or A Million. In addition to a fair bunch of new songs, Dreamtalk gathered Korean versions of songs previously recorded in English for 3rd Line Butterfly’s international album Ice Cube released earlier in 2012.
Not just nominated for Best Modern Rock Album, Dreamtalk also made the heavy weight category Album of the Year. Album lead track “헤어지는 날 바로 오늘” too got nominated both for Best Modern Rock Song and Song of the Year whereas 3rd Line Butterfly got a nomination for Artist of the Year.
After a strong debut with a self-titled album in 2009 which won the Modern Rock Album category at KMA in 2011, 9 and the Numbers finally returned with EP 유예 in November last year. With a stronger emphasis on dream pop, the EP offered six “proper” songs and two live studio recordings, including an acoustic version of first album track “낮은 침대”. 유예 was produced by 3rd Line Butterfly bassist Kim Nam Yoon and well-reputed keyboardist Ko Kyung Chun (Omega 3, Kang San-eh Band) supported the band during recordings.
Not just nominated for Best Modern Rock Album 유예 is also nominated for Album of the Year with double nominations in the Best Modern Rock Song for songs off the album.
Noisecat made his EP debut in 2003 with as one of first artists in Korea to adopt a measure of post-rock as one of many components in his neo-garage rock sound. February nine years later, six years after the second full-length album, time had finally come for the release of third full-length album Sunday Sunset Airlines. With a full 72 minutes long “soundtrack for the virtual trip”, the album has been created under the device “traveling world to make music to travel world to” – insipred by what he recorded and wrote as he made his way through Europe, India, Cuba and Vietnam.
Mukimukimanmansu – 2012
After making quite a name for themselves in Seoul’s underground music scene with their eclectic and unique style, which Mukimukimanmansu themselves refer to as supranational intelligent punk, Mukimukimanmansu released first full-length album in 2012 in April the same year. Doubling as a souvenir for the two girls to look back at after graduation, the album was produced by Dalpalan.
Not just a candidate for Best Modern Rock Album, the release was strong enough to get Mukimukimanmansu a nomination for Rookie of the Year.
Whang Bo Ryung has been one of the best respected female names in the Korean indie scene since the release of her first full-length album in 1998. After her second album in 2001 and some soundtrack work the next year she went on a bit of a hiatus, not returning until late 2008 with 2.5 EP SmackSoft when she also revived her old band with the same name. Come late November 2012 the post punk band released fifth full-length album Follow Your Heart, now experimenting a bit with electronic elements.
When 3rd Line Butterfly returned with fourth full-length album Dreamtalk in October last year, “헤어지는 날 바로 오늘” had been appointed lead track. The lyrics open with the song title, meaning something along the lines of “today is the breakup day”, while Nahm Sang Ah‘s voice gives the song a sad and occassionally almost desperate air as she asks the antagonist not to go. The progression of the song from calm to loud resembles that of 3rd Line Butterfly’s 2009 comeback track “A Heavy Night Fog“, which was nominated in the same category for the 7th Korean Music Awards.
In addition for a shot at Best Modern Rock Song, “헤어지는 날 바로 오늘” is nominated also for Song of the Year. 3rd Line Butterfly themselves got nominated for Artist of the Year while album Dreamtalk to got double nominations as it competes for both Best Modern Rock Album and Album of the Year.
9 and the Numbers – “눈물바람”
Following up their critically acclaimed debut album from 2009, 9 and the Numbers released EP 유예 in November. It opens with the song “눈물바람”, with lyrics of tears and pain. The pick for the KMA is justified by the songs interwork of smooth acoustic guitar play and electric guitar arpeggios.
Alongside “눈물바람”, 9 and the Numbers’ “유예” too is nominated for Best Modern Rock Song this year while the EP with the same name is nominated both for Best Modern Rock Album and Album of the Year.
9 and the Numbers – “유예”
Keeping the focus on good music rather than just picking one stand out song from each artist, 9 and the Numbers is one of four acts with double song nominations this year. In addition to “눈물바람” above, which together with “그대만 보였네” served as lead track on EP 유예, the KMA saw fit to nominate also the song “유예” for its portrayal of despair without use of elaborate emotions.
Lang Lee – “잘 알지도 못하면서”
Singer-songwriter Lang Lee released her first full-length album 욘욘슨 (Yon Yonson) in August. Full of great melodies and quirky melodies, KMA found the most representative song to be “잘 알지도 못하면서” explaining the way in which she picks her boyfriends. For a full translation of the lyrics, see the bottom of my review of the album.
The Electric Eels – “송곳니”
When The Electric Eels released first full-length album 최고의 연애 in October a set of songs the band had previously released on their first two EPs. Among them was second EP lead track “송곳니”, with a playful melody that is easy to remember. Far from considering just the music, the KMA is also fond of the sweet, confessional lyrics.
In addition to getting a nomination for Best Modern Rock Song, The Electric Eels are also up for Rookie of the Year.