jeudi 9 avril 2015

Click + Listen #63 : HYUKOH

Seoul, South Korea
Record label : HIGHGRND since July 2015, Artist Management Company DRDR/두루두루AMC
 (previously at Cashmier Records)

Hyukoh - Wi Ing Wi Ing /위잉위잉 (official music video) Lyrics

Hyukoh is not your typical indie Korean band (which is enough difficult to define). I discovered this four-piece band a few months ago with the song "Wi Ing Wi Ing" and I immediately liked it !
It seems that they gained in popularity in the last months by word-of-mouth with their great songs and performed a lot of concerts and festivals in South Korea. Moreover they are mentioned and recommended by several popular Korean artists on their personal social networks / SNS. They even were the special opening guest for the show of Erlend Oye and The Rainbows in Seoul in March 2015.

Hyukoh is simply the Korean name of the young frontman of the band, Mr. OH Hyuk. His particular voice suits well with the songs and is what you notice first.

In April 2014, the video for the song "I Understand" was released by director Jinsoo Chung of Visuals From. Their debut EP "20" released in September 2014 is incredibly good, especially the songs "Ohio", "Wi Ing Wi Ing /위잉위잉" (title song), "I Have No Hometown".

Hyukoh - Ohio (Live and Direct session) Lyrics

Hyukoh - Feels like Roller-coaster Ride Lyrics + Lonely Lyrics (onstage session)

The single "Panda Bear" was released on January 2015 with the introduction song "Bamboo". Live session for onstage.

Hyukoh - Panda Bear/판다베어 (official music video) (with English subtitles) Lyrics

Then, Hyukoh did a 4-track album collaboration with famous Korean artist PRIMARY in March 2015, called "Lucky You" :
1. eTunnel (Feat. Gaeko/개코) - Lyrics
2. Bawling Youtube / Vimeo - Lyrics
3. Island Youtube / Vimeo - Lyrics
4. Gondry/공드리 (Feat. Lim Kim/김예림) Youtube / Vimeo - Lyrics

"We think we're all different, but we're all about the same. So we laugh and cry about the same things, relating to and agreeing with the same things. This song takes on a different perspective to everyday things we do, like saying goodbye to loved ones, pitying ourselves in exhaustion, holding back our loneliness, and pushing to always be happy. This album could be depressing, or it could be encouraging. Either way, good luck to you.
The title song "Bawling" is about a coincidental encounter of an ex-couple. The guy reminisces about the not so pure but naïve past." (press)

PRIMARY/프라이머리 x OHHYUK/오혁 - Bawling (with English subtitles) (official music video) Lyrics

PRIMARY/프라이머리 x OHHYUK/오혁 - Gondry/공드리(feat. Lim Kim/김예림) (with English subtitles) (official music video) Lyrics

The scenes and colors of the "Gondry" video with voices of Ohhyuk and Lim Kim are a perfect combo. The video refers of course to the French film director Michel Gondry.

[Edit - August 2015] Hyukoh is a prolific band, they released so many great songs in the last months.

They released a second EP "22" in May 2015, including new songs "Settle Down", "Come and Goes/와리가리", "Big Bird/큰새", "Mer", "Hooka" and a new version of "Gondry/공드리".

The number 1 track [Settled Down] talks about themselves who can’t settle down, unlike the title name. The 2nd track ‘Comes and Goes’ shows the relationship they had since childhood up until now. They used to live abroad when he was little, and lives in Seoul now. The song shows how the people leave when they feel like they got to know them. Their favorite 5th track [Hooka] shows the feelings that they felt about human relationship in a hugely changed setting in a blunt way. The passion to fill the life’s blank space that is created by non-working society and the wounds is shown in a musical experiment in a more pure way. (source : 1theK)

Hyukoh - Come and Goes/와리가리 (official music video) Lyrics
Video with English subtitles

Huykoh - Hooka/후카 (official music video) Lyrics
Video with English subtitles
Video produced by VISUALS FROM, director Jinsoo Chung

They appeared on the excellent Korean music show, Yu Huiyeol's Sketchbook, in April 2015 : performance and interview, with English subtitles.

In July 2015, they're the first act to sign with the label HIGHGRND (High Ground), run by Tablo, the frontman of hip hop trio Epik High. This label is a subsidiary of YG Entertainment, one of the major Kpop companies and is operated independently to YG.
Their two first EPs prove that these four 23 year-old men have a very promising future in Korea and the band is worth to be discovered in other countries. They manage to make songs of different music genres and with high quality ! I could listen to their songs all day long. All of their work is done perfectly, even in the making of their official videos with talented directors. I hope they will continue to make great songs in their own way under this new label.

To read :
- "Hyukoh Signing to HIGH GROUND Means Little" by Korean Indie
- interesting and complete interview of Hyukoh on Noisey by Tamar Herman "Meet Hyukoh, the Indie Rock Band Topping the Korean Charts in a World of K-Pop"
- translated interviews by a fan base.

Discover other great artists on the CLICK+LISTEN series.