I met members of 만쥬한봉지 at the Korean Indie Meetup. I never heard of the band before and had no idea what kind of music they played. The band was nice enough to give me a copy of their 2013 album 돈으로 주세요. When I returned to San Francisco, I started listening to it and was surprised at the type of music. It’s sort of indie pop on the surface, but has really strong vocals. The songs seem to really be guided by the vocals on each song.
“돈으로 주세요” is a strange song. It’s pop and slightly jazz. Keyboards provide the main rhythm with drums providing a skeleton of structure. The vocals weave in and out of the tempo until the chorus where they show power again. The song sounds simple, but there are a lot of elements layered on top of each other. The album contains a lot of variety with the base of songs all containing a indie-esque sound.
One standout song is “Hungry.” It’s sung in English and is much more minimalist than other songs. It still highlights the vocals and mainly accompanied by keyboards. “테이크아웃” is a R&B style song that sounds a bit lighter because the instruments aren’t sampled tracks. It gives the song an innocent sound. A consistent element on each song is that the vocals sound like they’re mixed higher than the instruments, making it a little difficult to hear the instruments. It doesn’t take away anything from the music, but it would be nice to hear things a little more even.
Considering I don’t really know anything about 만쥬한봉지, 돈으로 주세요 is a really great album. All the songs are well composed and arranged, and the songs flow really well. It’s an album that fans of really melodic music will enjoy. I’ll have to find more music from the band because I’m curious to hear what they sounded like before 돈으로 주세요 and after.
만쥬한봉지 on Facebook.