Best of 2016 : Claire’s Picks

Best of 2016 : Claire’s Picks

Compiling a list of my top items is an immense challenge – I can never quite decide on whether one release is truly better than another. With that said, I will present five releases from 2016 that made the biggest impressions on me. Thornapple : Seoul Sickness...
Dabda : Island of Each

Dabda : Island of Each

When I first listened to Dabda, a trio from Seoul, I was reminded of certain melodic math rock bands that I’d heard in the past. With Island of Each, Dabda have made an immediately engrossing EP with rhythmic complexity and carefully worked-in dissonance that...
Yksi : NeverEnding Tales

Yksi : NeverEnding Tales

Yksi, a band I would describe as having predominantly folk and rock influences, threads their album NeverEnding Tales with a fascinating combination of lyricism and visceral emotional pain. Indeed, one thorough listen of this work can have a marked effect on...
Jannabi (잔나비) : Monkey Hotel

Jannabi (잔나비) : Monkey Hotel

Even the most miserable wretch wouldn’t be able to resist the infectiously cheerful Monkey Hotel. This sunny album from Jannabi, well-crafted and endlessly inviting, is a whirlwind of ear-catching melodies. While some of Jannabi’s previous releases adhered...
Silica Gel : Silica Gel

Silica Gel : Silica Gel

Here’s a few words I’m throwing around in an attempt to characterise Silica Gel’s self-titled debut album: colourful, scintillating, immersive, galactic (both in theme and scope). Yet those don’t even begin to describe this psychedelic marvel. The band has variously...
Secret Asian Men : Secrets Beyond the Room

Secret Asian Men : Secrets Beyond the Room

Secret Asian Men are a trio from Seoul with pronounced shoegaze and post-punk influences. For me, their music, filled with distorted guitars and elongated vocal melodies, evokes bands such as Cocteau Twins or Slowdive, though Secret Asian Men are not above injecting...
Thornapple : 서울병 (Seoul Sickness)

Thornapple : 서울병 (Seoul Sickness)

From the very beginning, Thornapple have possessed a distinct, folk-tinged spirit that combines elements of East Asian traditional music, 90s alternative rock and deeply introspective lyrics into a sonic tapestry that is at once coherent and constantly varying. I...