For a band that’s been around for almost two decades, I don’t think a lot of people have heard of Goonamguayeoridingstella. Outside the long name, the band went through many changes over the years from members, session players to full band members coming and going, to years of focusing on live performances. My last deep listen was Sun Power in 2015 and the band released Moraenae Fantasy in 2019, an album that I somehow missed.

Goonamguayeoridingstella 1969 album cover

1969 arrives four years after Moraenae Fantasy. Thinking back on the older releases, 1969 is a different chapter in Goonam’s library. Previously Goonamguayeoridingstella was heavily into psychedelic rock and explored and wandered across that genre. 1969 presents that core but with three members on the album, there’s a simplification in the presentation.

I feel like Goonamguayeoridingstella ordered the album to attract a new audience at the start before moving into tangential styles. “Hwalmyeongsoo” sounds like a mix of 1960s psychedelic rock and traditional Korean vocal styles. Returning to Goonamguayeoridingstella after so long, it’s clear that 1969 contains a bit of nostalgia of previous years.

It’s sad that most Koreans will have missed Goonamguayeoridingstella throughout their career. I’m not sure if 1969 is more of a chapter in their career or a band story arc. I can hear a lot of what I enjoyed about Goonamguayeoridingstella in every song, but it does feel like there’s energy that’s missing to really grab my attention. I can enjoy the album, but it doesn’t stick.

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Korean Indie owner and Editor at Large. Constantly looking for new music and working on library parity on Spotify and YouTube Music.