There are projects by musically powerful individuals, and then there are bands. Self-labeled “Emotional Pop Band” Adios Audio finds itself somewhere in between, suggesting a growing process and leading me to hope for more from them in the future. It’s hard for me nowadays to come across a band in this early, awkward but endearing stage, so I’m rooting for them.
Vocalist Yang Maho is an interesting character because it is the power of her persona that still largely defines the music of Adios Audio. She used to sing for the now inactive band OopsNice, where she seems to have honed her songwriting skills.
OopsNice had explored infusions of alternative, pop, and punk, sounding like a combination of Jaurim and Cherry Filter with its own twist. Much of Adios Audio’s music also sits somewhere along this spectrum: “Adios” feels as if Jaurim’s leader Kim Yoon Ah sang one of Cherry Filter’s more sentimental tracks but watered it down a bit. It also reminded me of “Please Back,” OopsNice’s final track, released December 2015. This is not to say that the music is not enjoyable, but too much reliance on Yang Maho’s color can prevent the band from standing out – Adios Audio faces the perennial homework of bands to solidify an identity as a collective.
Season 1 is a collection of singles Adios Audio has released during its first year, listed in order of release starting September 2016. All of the previous releases have been remastered to make the guitar riffs stand out more, drum licks clearer, and bass and keyboards smoother to hold everything together.
Yang Maho is credited with having written all but one of the tracks on the album, while the arrangement was done collectively. This not only suggests more room for Adios Audio to come together as a band, but also conscious efforts to do so. I’m interested in watching where the band is headed, especially because its bassist Jeong Mimi has left the band after this album.
“남겨진 것들” is a short track written and arranged by Lim Hojae, who has been with Yang Maho playing keyboards since her days at OopsNice, that provides an instrumental break and signals a change of direction for Adios Audio. The next track “Firefly,” supposedly the newest track by the band, is much softer compared to other tracks in the album, reeling back on the guitars while having the piano play a bigger part in pulling the song through until the final chorus, where the drums and guitar add their own touches to the song. Being the final track of the album, “Firefly” leaves me wondering what season 2 of this band will sound like.