I think it was a Twitter connection through Pictoria Vark that introduced me to Byung. He has released singles that would be included in Humid Memories and I’ve listened to them in anticipation of the full release. What I came to find with the six-song EP is a self-contained audio experience that’s meant to be heard from start to finish.
In all honesty, listening to “Silver Lining,” I thought Byung was a pretty good indie rock artist. “The Plains” sounded a bit more like commercial indie rock, especially the bridge. So all in all, his music was enjoyable to listen to. But starting Humid Memories with “Slapout, AL” is a killer. In a way, it sounds like a companion to Pictoria Vark’s “Wyoming.” Its minimal introduction is backed with synth and slowly grows over each verse. That quiet growth continues across the entire song until its crescendo during the last verses. That was the moment that Byung caught my full attention.
Byung’s strength is in composition. According to the Kickstarter page, “Humid Memories is a combination of six chronological songs written in response to the pivotal experiences I had as a young adult.” I think that is reflected in all the songs. “Slapout, AL” and “Silver Lining” live in an indie rock world, but Byung switches styles slightly on “Humid Memories.”
It’s a synth and electronic track that combines his somewhat somber and solemn vocals with a moving melody. Byung’s vocals are what center every song on Humid Memories and regardless of the instrumental style, it’s easy to find a place to attach your ears.
“Slapout, AL” might be Byung’s calling card, but “Clear” is the standout single. The song lives in a more acoustic world, allowing Byung to take his time. You really understand the weight of every verse and every lyric. “Silver Lining” and “The Plains” are good songs, but “Clear” is the winner.
Humid Memories has a balanced scale in the song types. Six songs are a lot of time for an artist to make an impact and Byung is very successful. I think every song has its own strength to build up Byung’s musical representation with some obvious standouts. If this is his start, there’s a lot of anticipation about what comes next.