Ahn Dayoung‘s ANTIHERO was a genre-exploring full length where she dived into new sounds. Her 2021 follow-up, Burning Letter, feels like a continuation of that work. I’m curious if she’ll ever return to the sounds of In the endless zanhyang we are (끝없는잔향속에서우리는), but I really enjoy the solo music she’s creating now.

ahn dayoung burning letter

“forever” reminds me of Ahn Dayoung’s origins with piano-driven tracks. The song starts with a simple piano and vocal arrangement, kind of like a callback, and as the song moves forward it becomes denser and adds extra keyboards. At the bridge, “forever” adds a deep bassline with drums to introduce a more present sense of the music she’s making.

If you listened to ANTIHERO, “masterpiece” sounds like a track that would have been welcome on the album. It’s a keyboard synth forward song with programmed percussion. Ahn Dayoung has a bit more mellow vocals, which lets the instrumentals take a bigger presence. She’s not creating a simple indie pop song but creating something more complex yet organic.

In ways, Ahn Dayoung’s constant experimentation reminds me of Sunwoo Jung-a. She’s reimaging herself through each song. “The food chain” is the most Sunwoo Jung-a-esque song. It plays with rhythms and melodies throughout the entire song. While you can hear a consistent core component to Ahn Dayoung’s music, she’s not sitting in one place and repeating it. Burning Letter’s four songs showcase a widening of perspective and she might start reaching far beyond her start.

Closing the EP, “swear to god” brushes up against Cacophony‘s audio universe. The track is less like a track and sounds more like world-building. The calm nature of the track hides the turmoil under the surface and it feels like the energy has been focused into a laser.

I really enjoy listening to Ahn Dayoung’s music and each release is something different. I think she’s an artist who will continually evolve and releases will offer something different each time. Her musical journey is something to watch because I don’t think she’s anywhere near hitting her full potential yet and the music she’s released is already amazing.

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Korean Indie owner and Editor at Large. Constantly looking for new music and working on library parity on Spotify and YouTube Music.