Although their style is nothing new, they make their presence known through presentation – from the way the singer articulates to knowing how to get the most out of the quiet/loud dynamic. It may not have been a conscious decision on the band’s part, but you get this impression when you hear it. If Daredaa have mastered anything, it’s giving their music a grand and cinematic feeling.

daredaa swimming star

Swimming Star EP is a mix of acoustic and electric guitar. The acoustic guitar is used mostly to provide rhythm, while the piano leads the melodies and the electric guitar thunders in like bolts of lightning. That is the kind of sound that Daredaa are striving for on this EP: big and show-stopping. This feeling especially comes across on the slower numbers where it gives them an extra helping of gravitas.

With the way they arrange their songs, I feel like this band should be playing stadiums. They seem to know exactly when to bring in an instrument, lay low, or burst apart. In a way, it’s almost too perfect and by-the-numbers. The singer articulates exactly how you would expect her too, and even though it hits all of the right emotional notes, I can’t hear her heart. I would like to hear what they sound like in their demos before they move the songs into production. This is not exactly a negative point since the songs are good, but it is missing a certain “je ne sais quoi/”

This is why my favorite songs were the ones like “데려가줘” and “봄의 고백.” “봄의 고백” is very pretty and much lighter than the rest, avoiding the pitfalls of the dramatic style by only featuring an acoustic guitar, some slight rhythm percussion, and a keyboard. It does not try too hard to make something special, and that is precisely what makes it special. “데려가줘” is in a similar vein, trading the bigness of the other tracks for something smaller and more from the heart. It is here that you can really begin to feel what the singer is feeling, whether you understand Korean or not.

I admire their flair for the dramatic though, even if it is not completely my style. They have a solid foundation, but some slight tweaking of their sound would go a long way, because what Daredaa lack in ingenuity and intimacy, they make up for in boldness and big emotions. I hope that they will stick to their mantra on “찬란한 스위밍” and just keep swimming.

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Sugar Records’ site.

First time contributor, long time lover of Korean indie music. Can’t get enough of that “coffee shop music."