Light, fluffy “cafe music” is so ubiquitous in Korean indie that it has become notorious. Too much of anything sweet is tiring. But every once in a while, there is a release in this musical niche that sets itself apart and grabs my attention. Moha’s cat-themed debut album released back in May, 모하냥, is one of those releases.
One way 모하냥 sets itself apart is through its eloquent orchestrations. They are quite sophisticated and make good use of color, texture, and harmony. As soon as things start sounding too sweet, Moha does something creative in the orchestration to engage the listener.
Moha’s music also has more emotional dimensionality than standard cafe music. Her sound is sweet, with plenty of upbeat, jazzy numbers, but a prominent tinge of melancholy. The bittersweet songs are my favorites, such as “길냥이,” “나를 버리지 말아요,” “고양이 꽃 가루,” and “꾹꾹꾹.” They’re nostalgic and unexpectedly plaintive.
In 모하냥, Moha showcases her skill for crafting intimate, elegant music. The album doesn’t introduce anything new, but it adds new dimension to a genre in Korean indie that is overdone. 모하냥 should be a nice treat for when you need some music for the heart.
Moha on Facebook.