Electriceels are one of those bands that have been beneath the surface of indie rock. The band was quietly consistent with their releases since 2011. Over the years, Electriceels released singles, some EPs, and two full lengths. Before the release of Circles, I read that the majority of the band left, leaving Hwang Inkyoung.
It’s sad, but expected, for bands to change over the year, but I’m happy that Electriceels are surviving because the indie rock that the band played was a nice fresh breeze anytime there was new music. That said, Circles is a little melancholy compared to their older, longer releases. I think that comes with age, but also the transition of the band’s (now solo) state.
But Circles contain the core of what made Electriceels. Hwang Inkyoung still sits as the vocalist and main composer on the album which shows a different side. As a whole, Circles is a little melancholy compared to the past. Though the Spotify release is missing two remasters from the actual 10-song release, other tracks are remakes or entirely new songs composed by Hwang.
The album contains the Electriceels core of melodic and light indie rock so there’s no hard switch between the past and present Electriceels. What I think really changes is that there’s more patience in the songs. I think there’s less that he’s trying to prove now and just creating music that speaks to him as a soloist.
I like “After Dark” a lot with its Summer Park feature because it adds a little bit of vocal support to the song. I don’t expect Electriceels to have a drastic style change, but I can see this solo pursuit opening up the sound and style in the future.
While I have known the band as The Electric Eels and now it’s Electriceels, the musician’s journey continues. Circles is the first step and hopefully, there’s more in Hwang’s head that he can put to tape.