playbook’s new EP, SPIRIT#2, takes an experimental look at nostalgia, the passing of time, and inevitable changes that come with it. 

playbook spirit#2

In an ambivalent space, somewhere in between folk, soft rock, and psychedelic, resides the new, whimsical sound created by playbook. playbook is a stage name of Kim Chun Chu (김춘추), known as a member of one of the most promising experimental bands, Silica Gel (실리카겔). The artist has been releasing solo music since 2019, SPIRIT#2 being his second EP, in which he boldly explores the complex relationship between the memories of the past and the present moment. The EP is soaked with nostalgia paired with the freshness of experimental sound and slightly edgy lyrics.

“Shoe Shelf – Hello ver.” is an instrumental track that opens the album by introducing the nostalgic, somewhat low-key vibe of the EP. The delicate melodies resemble memories bubbling in the back of the mind, waiting to come out to light when given the chance. Somehow, this song brings to mind a vaguely familiar opening tune of some retro children’s TV show.

The next track, “Handshake,” picks up the tempo a bit, with more prominent drums and funky guitar, creating the ultimate feel-good song.

In “SPIRIT#2,” playbook brings the memories of the past into the present. He addresses a person from his past with some ferocity, slightly hidden behind his bright vocals and playful, upbeat instrumentals. Despite the somewhat edgy lyrics, the song has an undeniably hopeful and lighthearted quality to it. playbook manages to bring painful memories into the present and put a new, charming spin on them.

In “Rainbow,” similarly to the previous track, the cheery music accompanies somber, almost fatalistic lyrics. playbook uses the rainbow as a metaphor for how to present happiness and joy cannot make up for the sadness of the past. The happy, “smiling” rainbow only reminds him of sad memories. However, the song does not feel too heavy thanks to the bright instrumentals and playbook’s casual way of singing.

The EP closes with the “Shoe Shelf – Bye ver.” which, again, sounds exactly like a song that could be heard at the end of an old-time children’s TV program. The simple, cheerful guitar and playbook’s laid-back singing create an intimate atmosphere as if he is saying goodbye to an old friend. 

As suggested by his stage name, playbook makes music that is quite personal and seems almost like a diary. With SPIRIT#2, he succeeded in bringing his memories to life in an engaging and heartfelt way.

Instagram | YouTube | Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube Music

Edinburgh local with affinity for sad indie music and sunny places.