Jellyboy is the alter-ego solo work of Daeinn Kim. Formerly of Apollo18 and currently in PAKK and Zeonpasa, Daeinn’s solo work has always been much more mellow. I was first introduced to Jellyboy through a remix of a Donawhale before connecting the dots. His past full lengths came in 2005 and 2007 and he kind of put this project to rest.
He returned with singles in 2018 and 2019 before releasing 2.5 in 2020. I will say that 2.5 isn’t a direct continuation of They Dream Daydream Everyday or Everyday Trouble. 2.5 is an album that comes from many more years of experience, playing music in other genres, and polishing his skills with live shows. I think 2.5 is meant to be a call back to the time when Jellyboy was his own self expression as opposed to collaboration works.
Instead of the longer shoegaze songs or psychedelic exploration tracks, 2.5 has shorter, more self-contained songs. They use a lot of piano melodies accented through ambient choral tones. “When Mankind Disappears” is a good example of this. The percussion on the album isn’t meant to push the song forward but provide or dismiss and hard structure. “Falling Spring” may use a dense percussion sample, but it doesn’t add heaviness to the track, but helps concentrate your attention.
Comparing these songs to his other bands, Jellyboy is about staying present and not getting lost in the soundscapes. You’re on a specified path and he’s guiding you forward. The 12 tracks play with your emotions simply through the melodies and tempo. Jellyboy has experience of a lot of different musical styles along with working with a wide variety of artists. It’s incredible that his solo work takes a different slice at music.
If you listened to Apollo18, PAKK, or post-rock and/or shoegaze, that’s not what you’re going to get here. You will get smaller elements that come and go, but this singular vision by Jellyboy is not meant for wide consumption. It’s going to speak to a select audience – those who enjoy electronic music, those who like ambient audio, and those that like hearing what an experienced musician can create on their own.