It’s been about two years since I reviewed Hunjiya‘s Lineage. Now she’s released Look After August and I’m wondering how she improved so much considering how good Lineage was. This release is something entirely different and showcases an artist that has evolved so much further than I thought could be possible in this amount of time.
“littlebluecar” starts the album and it immediately is clear that Hunjiya has improved across the board. First, her vocals are much more developed and powerful. I feel like she has expertise on controlling her pitch and hitting the notes she wants. The vocals are also clear and don’t have any unnecessary effects or manipulation.
“said” was one of the early singles and was a surprise because she’s moved genres slightly. The music is pop, but will a lot of borrowed genres. She’s using an almost jazz and R&B flow with the melodies and her vocals, while using electronic accents in the verses.
The song shows a confidence that I didn’t expect so soon. She’s doesn’t have any composition fears and produces music that’s fully in her own voice. “give it/what I get” is another previously released single and follows the same confidence as “said.”
Hunjiya has moved away from her more folk-indie style that made up Lineage slightly, but I think that first release might have been her stepping into music before really finding her own voice. “go to bed” is my favorite song. It’s the most direct song that I hear. Using R&B along with pop mixed with the keyboard, bass, and drums; it’s not a complex song through its audio, but through the emotion that comes through.
Even though “take care” reminds me of Lineage in the introduction, it quickly jumps to the core style themes of Look After August. I was worried that the album might be stuffed with too many melodic layers, but she’s able to add the right amount of every song ingredient.
While some might think that Look After August borrows or sounds like a lot of other artists, I think Hunjiya is able to take her influences and create something with her own voice. She’s not making an album for other people, she made an album that speaks for herself and the journey she’s taken as a person and musician. Look After August might be a blender of influences, but the result is a unique artist perspective.
Hunjiya was one of the artists that I believe is the next generation of Korean artists that will make a big impact. I thought that with Lineage. Look After August confirms what I thought. She’s set another high bar for herself, but that might be the best thing for her.