I wasn’t planning on making my own best of list this year considering I took a long break at the end and kind of trailed off. But I figure I shouldn’t break the streak and list the albums that I listened to a lot in 2017. As always, the list isn’t in any order, but just what I listened to.

kirara ct5

KIRARA (키라라) : cts5

I will never get tired of KIRARA’s music. When she went from moves to the cts series again, I was excited. I find her music consistent and always getting better with each release. Her remix album KM is also an excellent addition to any library.

from the airport the boy who jumped

From The Airport : The Boy Who Jumped

2017 might be the end of From The Airport as the members have moved onto other projects. But as one of the early Bandcamp discoveries that I had, I loved hearing the progression of their music. If The Boy Who Jumped is the last album, it’s a fitting end of a duo who grew together and eventually apart.

national pigeon unity hero

National Pigeon Unity : Hero

After what felt like eternity, the band returned and showed that the time between releases didn’t mean anything. It does have a mix of song strength, but a great album nonetheless.

In the endless zanhyang we are Inevitability under consecutive coincidence

In the endless zanhyang we are (끝없는잔향속에서우리는) : Inevitability under consecutive coincidence (우연의 연속에 의한 필연)

The evolution of Ahn Dayoung, which was named after their vocalist, in the endless.. are a better form of that band. The music is slightly different, but still relies on shoegaze and post-rock elements to support the vocals.

lang lee

Lang Lee (이랑) : 신의 놀이

Originally only available as a download from a book she released, Lang Lee’s, what I believe to be, final album is the best in present day folk that you will hear. Honestly, you need this album.

adoy catnip

ADOY : Catnip

With the pedigree of its members, Adoy could make any kind of music they wanted. But their “commercial indie” sound is perfect.

love x stereo 37a

Love X Stereo : 37A

Even though Love X Stereo weren’t able to complete their goal of 37 songs in 2017, they still released two impressive albums. While not as polished as previous albums, the variety of songs show that we still haven’t heard the end game of the duo.

idiotape dystopian

Idiotape : Dystopian

Idiotape can do no wrong.

hunjiya lineage

Hunjiya : Lineage

We need new voices and Hunjiya is part of that generation.

pakk salpuri

PAKK : Salpuri

There are less and less shoegaze bands lately, but PAKK is keeping the genre alive.

holy hum all of my bodies

Holy Hum : All Of My Bodies

I’ll say it, this is my favorite album of 2017.

My extended break made me miss reviewing some late 2017 releases that I’ll get to in 2018. Love X Stereo’s 37B is better than 37A, Leesun has a decent EP, Billy Carter released two EPs at the end of the year. Flash Food Darlings returned and j.knife is going head to head with Hunjiya. Korean artists are getting more recognized like Yaeji and Dumbfoundead is still working his game.

But with all that, Korean independent music has taken a bit of a downturn with less new music, shrinking shows, and no one taking as many chances as before. I don’t think the scene will die, but it’s definitely waiting for a new generation of bands to help bring the excitement back.

Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.