When I first started listening to Shin Seol Hee, I wasn’t quite sure what to classify her music as. Her album, Cinder Cone, begins with a song with the same title and present a down tempo electronic tone. But the core melody is presented through a keyboard with the electronic samples bridging each verse. Her voice is warm, matching the tone of the song. With “Cinder Cone” as the introduction, you’re not sure what direction the rest of the songs will take.
On her Bandcamp page, she classifies herself as an indie folk, pop, and electronic artist. I do think these are more elements to her music rather than outright descriptors. “Walk On The Water” is a bit ethereal. She doesn’t feel the need to sing over every verse and allows the instrumentals to create the majority of the song’s elements. It’s also a short track so it comes and goes quickly. “±0” is the first song where you really get a display of her voice. “±0” is more of a pop and electronic mixture with the instrumentals using multiple samples, but her voice following a pop-friendly display. It’s one of the strongest songs, partially because of the composition. It is different from previous tracks and shows a lot of talent.
As you work your way through Cinder Cone, you’re able to hear a variety of music. “Another Season” is a folk acoustic track. Backed by a band, “Another Season” is a much more natural compliment to Shin Seol Hee’s voice. It matches the guitar melody perfectly. But the fact that she’s presenting a mix of music shows that her voice is versatile. The core of Shin Seol Hee’s style is slower, more atmospheric songs. This comes across in the later tracks like “Nick Of Time.” I am curious because it never sounds like she’s straining to hit any notes and I am curious to know just how powerful her voice can get.
Cinder Cone was a surprise. I didn’t know anything about her before listening to the album, but it’s an excellent mix of genres. It starts with an electronic tone, but slowly strips that back to live in a more folk world. She’s definitely got the vocal talent and the ability to jump genres if she wanted.