It’s been so long since I’ve heard new music from Trampauline. This is Why We Are Falling For Each Other released in 2011 right before their remaster of their self-titled full length. They did collaborate with Lali Puna on Machines are Human, but Marginal is a real return. Their music is still electronic, but their songs are focused on melody and tones. It’s less about sampling and more about creating songs using electronic as the base. “Intro: S.U.R.V.I.V.E” doesn’t do much to tell you what you’re about to hear, but “Black Star” gets the album started.
If you heard their previous releases, you will hear a lot of common musical themes. The tempos are casual and the melodies are excellent. I don’t know if Marginal fits any particular season, it’s an album that can be played almost anytime or mood. Cha Hyosun, Kim Naeun, and Jeong Dayoung all work in unison on each song. The mix of the album does make it a little difficult to hear Dayoung’s bass on some songs and I’m not sure if Naeun’s guitar is playing or it’s a synth sample in the background. But the vocals are one of the biggest strengths of Trampauline. Their like an easygoing breeze. It never sounds like there’s a strain to hit certain notes, but everything feels right.
My favorite song has to be “Sunwoo.” It has a more eclectic style than other songs and feels like of like a mix between indie rock and dream pop. “Sunwoo” also has a great funk verse that sticks in my head. It’s also the song where it’s possible to hear the guitar and bass easily. The way the guitar and bass mix within the electronic melody is perfect. Another thing that I really like is that Marginal is sung in English so it’s easy to understand. At the same time, I’m sure you could play this to unfamiliar people and they wouldn’t think Trampauline is from South Korea. All the songs on Marginal are great and with eleven songs, you’re going to find a lot of great tracks.
I’m glad that Trampauline have returned. I was afraid that the band wasn’t active anymore since their first albums were really great. Marginal is a cross-genre album. While a lot of the instrumentals are based in electronic music, the mixture of styles is apparent on a lot of songs. It’s quite possible that Marginal is one of the best albums of 2015.