Yozoh was one of the earliest Korean musicians that I discovered way back around 2010-11. During those days, Pastel Music had a stranglehold on indie and indie pop rock and most of the popular artists were signed to that label. Over the years, Yozoh released a lot of enjoyable EPs and singles. Then in 2013, she released 나의 쓸모 with the lead single, “Flowerpot” which is still one of my favorite Yozoh tracks. Then her music disappeared from my regular rotation and I only kept up here and there.
Looking at her discography, she took a break between the fall of 2019 and early 2021. Yozoh released three singles in 2021 and a year after her last single, a new EP, Names. This EP isn’t the Yozoh of old or new, it’s a chapter marker of an artist’s journey. It mixes and merges a lot of Yozoh’s past with what I imagine are new influences and ideas.
“Tommy” is a low-key indie rock song with a full band. The tempo is slow, almost like wandering. The core is Yozoh’s vocals which are a bit lighter than her more focused indie songs of the past. They’re warm and free without struggling to hit a specific note.
If I remember, Yozoh also did a little experimentation with electronic music and synths and that makes an appearance on “Sad Sad.” It’s not an electronic track, but kind of like OOHYO where it’s used to provide an accent to a mix of organic and electronic sounds. Overall, Yozoh has evolved into an artist that sounds confident in everything she’s creating. It’s less about following existing trends and remaining unique. She still has the hints from her past, but there’s this comfort in her music that felt missing in some older releases.
It’s interesting because I can see Yozoh influencing a lot of current singer-songwriters and bedroom indie pop rock artists with her old music. Now Names creates a new introduction for many people who didn’t follow Pastel Music or that era of bands and musicians. There’s a classic and timeless undertone to this EP.
At first, you hear something new, but Yozoh fans will be able to hear her foundations come forward. I’m glad she’s released something new because it’s all too common that musicians to disappear and we lose their talent publically.