Unfortunately, a common trend with bands is they have a couple of releases, play a lot of live shows, and then disappear for various reasons. I was surprised to get an Instagram message from s l o vv k i n d and get told that it was fronted by Joonhee Park. His previous band, Square the Circle, was a rock band that was active around 2012-14. In the message, they announced their first EP, No worries,.
When a musician publicly returns after some time, I wonder how their music tastes have changed. Realistically, it’s been over 10 years since I first heard of Square the Circle. And s l o vv k i n d is an organic progression from Square the Circle. No worries, is designed to flow from the first song, “g o o d _ n i g h t _ (intro)” to “g o o d _ m o r n i n g _ (outro).” In total, No worries, contains six songs and after the short intro, “Long Distance” is the first full track.
Joonhee Park’s vocals are instantly recognizable to me. The biggest change is the instrumentals are lighter indie rock instead of Square the Circle’s rock music. It still contains high energy and flowing melodies but also feels a little more precise and less reckless. It’s like an evolution without losing the core.
“말할 순 없지만” has a little bit of a ballad and indie pop rock angle. The composition sounds familiar and kind of like a drama OST track, but works as a polished song to follow “Long Distance.” No worries, doesn’t focus on a single repetitive style. Each track has a unique composition and arrangement. “Stay Still” is a bit of a layered and fragmented track with the melodies attacking and diminishing quickly. It’s an addictive song.
I get the most Square the Circle nostalgia on “Stain.” And while I don’t think it’s a track that would fit the band’s releases, it sounds like something that would have come from a second full length. It’s a sweeping and broad rock song with its swaying tempo and gradual buildup. It fits perfectly as the last full song. The piano bridge is unexpected but gives “Stain” a bigger feel along with the added brass accent.
While I think about Square the Circle a lot with s l o vv k i n d, these are two different bands. s l o vv k i n d is a band that fits my tastes now as something I can constantly listen to. There are a lot of opportunities in the foundation of this EP that s l o vv k i n d could explore. And I’m here to see where it goes.