During my interview with Patrick Connor about Zandari Festa, he mentioned Ahn Dayoung. I looked her up on YouTube and then immediately went to find her music online. I found her EP from 2014 on iTunes and bought it. Waves, Smoke, River is an amazing EP. Hands down it’s one of the best I’ve heard in 2016 even though the EP came out in 2014.
Ahn Dayoung is the vocalist and keyboardist along with other members who fill out the guitar (김하람), bass (이건석), drums (박성훈), and additional guitar and keyboard (강원우) positions. The band play a mix of post rock and shoegaze with songs moving to each genre depending on the placement of the song. For the majority of tracks, you’re going to hear more shoegaze elements. But what stands out is Dayoung’s vocals. When she lets loose on “Dreamer” and “Waves, Smoke, River” it hits hard. I don’t know how she’s able to produce vocals that powerful. It’s not the volume or the octave that is overwhelming, but the raw emotion that flows on the sustained note.
Even with those two songs, I think that “Fever” is my favorite song. It’s more low key than other songs on the EP, but for some reason when I first heard it, my eyes got tears. “Fever” is a melancholy song and the band is able to give the emotion a life that I haven’t heard in a long time. Closing out the EP is “Till The Night There.” It fits well with the extended introduction, the slow tempo backed by the drums, and Dayoung’s haunting vocals. She sings in English with repeating lyrics on most of the songs. The repetition helps to create the atmosphere on each song.
I can’t believe that I missed Waves, Smoke, River when it came out in 2014. I’m very glad that I found it now because I’ve been playing it on repeat since I got it. I sincerely hope that there’s new music in the works because from the live videos I’ve watched, there’s a lot of talent and potential to be explored.