I love albums that are both fun and smart; albums that are palatable but also boast excellent craft. Secret, by new folk duo Kim Sawol x Kim Haewon is one of those albums. It’s warm and sensual, but not without plenty of musical and emotional depth in which you can bury your mind.

Kim Sa Wol x Kim Hae Won

Secret is likely to grab you immediately with its stylish, dreamy atmosphere. The guitar, percussion, and vocal colors are graceful and placid. However, there is a restlessness and pensiveness underlying Secret’s calm. It’s a perfect combination for daydreaming.

The album is full of long, smooth melodic lines that are gracefully exchanged between the vocalists and the guitars. These lines unravel naturally, carrying you along in their current like flowing water. The dialogue between the female and male voices makes the album feel like an in-depth musical conversation.

If I had to state a complaint for the album, it would be that the songs blend into each other. There aren’t enough distinguishing, memorable qualities from song to song.  I could listen to Kim Sawol and Kim Haewon’s trademark sound all day, but having some more variation would make the album’s narrative richer.

With Secret, Kim Sawol and Kim Haewon bring forth a unique, stylish sound that is a pleasure to listen to. Although its their first release, they already have several lovely trademarks that I’m looking forward to hearing more of. It’s a hypnotizing thirty minutes and definitely worth your time.

{Secret} {비밀} by Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon

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A composer of music myself who has been inspired by Korean indie music for many years, specifically rock, electronic, and experimental music.