Unfortunately, my busy schedule over the past year has led to me writing less articles for Korean Indie — but I’ve done my best to stay on top of releases, regardless of whether I write about them or not. In no particular order, here are my top 5 Korean Indie releases of 2022! At the end, I’ve also included 5 K-pop releases I enjoyed this year.
min.a : i hope i get well soon
For more details as to why I loved this release, be sure to check out my review of this EP, but I’ll keep it brief here. min.a‘s complex, glittery, and glitchy soundscapes always keep me coming back for more. She hooked me from first listen a few years back, and with each new release her sound and lyrics mature. I find her oftentimes raw lyrics cathartic and am constantly coming back to her music.
haer : Why It Ruled
haer has appeared on a “Best Of” list of mine before, and I enjoyed her new EP too thoroughly to let it go without mention here. Like min.a, a big draw for me when it comes to haer is her lyrics and the emotions they evoke. She writes often about uncertainty, with a sound that ranges from pop punk to RnB accompanied by her smooth vocals.
Leechjul : Tunnel
Leechjul was an unexpected gem for this year. Their fun, fresh, semi-psychedelic debut EP provided earworm after earworm. Again, I talked more about this album in a full review, and would point anyone curious towards that for more information. They’re incredibly talented and interesting, and I have no doubt future releases from them will end up on my “Best Of” lists in the years to come!
Fromm : Mood, Sunday
Fromm has almost epitomized the Korean Indie sound to me for years now, and this EP is no exception. With an offering ranging from sweet, acoustic guitar-led ballads to classic indie rock with a swelling orchestral accompaniment, Mood, Sunday showcases Fromm’s many facets.
Luli Lee : Fade Away Like A Dream
Luli Lee ended the year on a high note musically (also, be sure to congratulate her on her engagement!) Her 2022 album blends sharp, colorful synth rock with soft grunge in a captivating soundscape. She plays with her vocal delivery, at times belting strongly and at others offering lyrics in a husky whisper. Luli Lee has long been a favorite of mine, and she maintained her position this year with a strong offering that kept me coming back for more!