Referring to themselves as “The Wizards of Seoul,” Seoul Magic Club is a three-member band composed of SiAn (vocals), Shin Suhwan (synthesizer), and Na Been (drum). Their first EP, Hope, introduces their indie-pop world, filled with honeyed synth melodies and unexpected rock sound.
Just with the opening song itself, the band’s musical landscape is introduced to us. “Tictoc” has self-reflective lyrics backed up by a hypnotic retro synth.
“Why am I still alive?
I’m wondering if I can tell the truth”
Starting with the chirping of birds, “Savior” is interesting as SiAn’s haunting and echoing vocals become secondary to let the instruments shine on their own, showing brilliantly the presence and importance of each member.
If she disappeared in the previous song, SiAn fully returns in “Poppies” and takes this opportunity to display her vocal range. This track is strikingly different from what we’ve heard before, more focused on the rock side of the band coupled with a melancholic piano.
“Reverie” is more similar to what we’ve been accustomed to so far, a synth-filled track with a delicious atmospheric melody. To fit with the theme of the title (rêverie means daydream in French), the vocals carry a constant echo to create the surreal aspect of the song. “Aurora” follows the same path, but this time using harps to further amplify the dreamlike atmosphere, a xylophone, and wind chimes.
With a triumphant air attached to itself, “Twilight” gathers all the best elements of the mini-album and reaches a climax, superbly followed by heavy guitar lines and assertive drums to conclude the EP. Sweet and bold at once, “Twilight” easily is, in my humble opinion, the strongest song on the tracklist.
Seoul Magic Club takes us on a musical journey inside their oneiric world filled with comforting lyrics and hazy melodies. At times repetitive, Hope still shines by its uniqueness with a dream-pop and rock DNA.
Despite the limitations of their work, the mini-album showcases a curiosity for the unconventional and musical risks, such as highlighting the instrumentals more often than the vocals. It’s clear that Seoul Magic Club will surprise us in their next work, and I personally can’t wait to find out how.