The talented singer-songwriter is back with an experimental take on folk, offering a modern take on the genre. The folk rock album centres around heavy themes of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy. Xeuda translates her unique view of life, one where bitterness and anxiety are balanced with spontaneous glimpses of magic. This album is more elaborate than her previous work, seeing the artist move away from her classic folk roots by adding a new depth to the production.

xeuda nameless things

Korean folk influence is seen in every part of this album, mostly in the simple, stripped-down production on most of the tracks. Ballads like “Blue pills,” “X,” and “My little room” centre around simple guitar chords and Xeuda’s soft vocals. In a true folk fashion, she uses her voice as a storytelling device, going from a whisper to strong sweeping vocals and yodeling. 

However, the songs that abandon the constraints of folk for the sake of more modern experimentation are the ones that shine the most in this release. “Impulse” pulls the listener in with the dark beat mimicking a human heartbeat and a surprising addition of trumpets. “Embrace my shadow, please” is a standout of the album with the electronic, dissonant sounds and Xeuda’s voice brimming with emotion. It is a perfect balance of anxious energy and calming vocals.

The music and vocals mirror the dark, convoluted emotions of her lyrics. “X” contains an intense guitar riff, “Hungover” – scratchy sounds and an eerie beat. Indie rock. Whether it be the softer folk songs or the intense rock tracks, the album maintains high production quality. The vocals sound crystal clear and the instruments are perfectly balanced. 

Xeuda’s stage name has many meanings in Korean, bitter being one of them. Her music overflows with bitterness, at the same time possessing a magical, mystical quality to it.  Nameless Things discusses the singer’s personal experiences as well as bigger concepts present in modern Korean society.

She elevates classic folk storytelling to a new level, by tackling specific Korean concepts in her music. “Impulse” is devoted to ‘nunchi’ – an act of matching up with other people’s feelings; a skill that is highly valued in Korean society. The singer discusses universal concepts through a personal lens, making her music relatable and intimate at the same time. Xeuda describes her music using the word “han,” a unique Korean emotion that is a mix of unexpressed longing and sorrow.

Nameless things is an interesting and thoroughly thought out project. Xeuda is a truly modern folk artist, keeping the music alive, making it relatable for the young generation, and celebrating her life experience. She continues to build on her folk rock legacy, providing new artistic explorations of the genre.

Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube Music

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