Titling his first EP, Mountains and Water, sounds very accurate for bakdong. The six songs contain a very mellow and calming tone that captures the peacefulness of nature “222 secs” is the instrumental introduction that sets the stage for the rest of the release perfectly.

bakdong mountains and water

bakdong’s style is a mix of low key indie pop while mixing some bedroom jazz elements too. Also included is that beachside vacation tone that some recent bands are exploring. “a walk” is a minimalist melodic track. Fueled mainly by keyboards, a guiding bass line, and a simple drum rhythm, “a walk” is the perfect title. It does feel like a casual stroll at dusk as you watch the sun fall.

“Gong” reminds me of a streamlined version of Akua. It has similar arrangements to “a walk,” but “Gong” has more vocal verses. bakdong seems to enjoy allowing the instrumentals to take control of the song and let the vocals accent certain verses. The casual mellowness bleeds fully into the song.

“Gradation” is a transition song that uses captured nature ambient sounds as the foundation. You hear insects in the background with tones appearing here and there. With a track length of three minutes, it’s surprisingly addictive to hear something so simple and get engaged.

After the transition, “You make me” offers a change from the low key indie pop to something a little more folk. The song’s recording sounds less produced and more organic. The core elements are the same, but the difference in instruments, from the acoustic guitar and live drums, gives the track an added natural feel.

Closing Mountains and Water on “The Scent,” this track is a mix between the two styles bakdong uses. The track is very much bass guitar-led and bakdong’s vocals are set above the instrumentals for the first time. The combination and mixing of his styles create a hybrid folk-ish track with electronic sample and effect highlights.

bakdong’s style is what originally interested me in his EP. It has similar and different elements all mixed together and he seems to choose what works best for the song he’s working on. Mountains and Water might only be a compilation of his previous singles but listening to all of the songs in one cohesive release offers a new perspective.

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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.