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10 K-Bands You Should Check Out

Exploring new music is my pastime. I can be found reading or writing at other times.

3rd Line Butterfly

3rd Line Butterfly

When talking about Korean music, people have a tendency to put everything under the K-Pop umbrella. In reality, Korean music is more than K-Pop. They have a thriving K-indie scene and a number of bands. In this article, I would like to introduce you to ten K-bands that you should check out.

1. Hoppipolla

Hoppipolla was formed during JTBC's television talent show Superband in 2019. Their band name is attributed to the song titled "Hoppipolla" by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós and it means "jumping into puddles" in Icelandic. The band has four members: I'll (vocalist), Ha Hyun-sang (vocalist), Hong Jin-ho (cellist) and Kim Young-so (guitarist). They released their debut digital single About Time in 2019.

Song Recommendation

  • "Your Ocean": "Your Ocean" is about sharing sadness with someone or being the one who takes up your loved ones’ despairs and loneliness. Here, the ocean represents the endless and deep negative emotions we experience.

"I close my eyes and sink into thе deep corner

Of the ocean of your hеart

To where you are

You were walking in ocean depths alone

Now I won’t let you go"

— Hoppipolla, "Your Ocean"

2. LUCY

LUCY is a four-member band that experiments with genres like rock, synth-pop and ambient music. Shin Ye-chan is the leader and violinist, Choi Sang-yeop is the vocalist and guitarist, Cho Won-sang takes up the role of producer and bassist and Shin Gwang-il is a vocalist and drummer. The band was formed during JTBC's television talent show titled Superband in 2019. They released their debut album DEAR. in 2020. It is said that the band is named after a dog that resided near their studio. Shin Gwang-il also explained that the name Lucy is also derived from the Latin word "lux" meaning light. The highlight of the band? The violinist!

Song Recommendation

  • "Snooze": Snooze is a song about snoozing adulthood for a moment so that we can enjoy the freedom and happiness the same way as in our childhoods. The violin section at the interlude makes the song even more exciting.

"When did we become adults?

Still not used to the things that happen

To the time that races by

Now I’m waiting for the night

Rather than the day

Hoping for dreamless sleep

I hope but there’s no place to lean on and rest"

— LUCY, "Snooze"

3. The Rose

This four-member band debuted in 2017 with the single "Sorry." The band members are Woosung (leader, lead vocals, electric guitar), Dojoon (main vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar), Hajoon (drums, sub-vocals) and Jaehyeong (bass, sub-vocals). The main attraction of the band is perhaps Woosung’s raspy vocals.

Song Recommendation

  • "She’s in the Rain"

"You wanna hurt yourself

I’ll stay with you

You wanna make yourself

Go through the pain

It’s better to be held

Than holding on"

— The Rose, "She's in the Rain"

4. DAY6

DAY6 debuted in 2015, with the EP The Day. They started as a six-member team, but in 2021 they had five members. The members are Jae (guitar, vocals, rap), Sungjin (leader, main vocals, guitar), Young K (bass, rap, vocals), Wonpil (synthesizer, vocals) and Dowoon (drums).

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Song Recommendation

  • "Zombie": This song is about life’s monotony and the way routine life makes one feel like a zombie.

"What kind of day was it yesterday

Was there anything special

I’m trying to remember

But nothing much comes to mind"

— DAY6, "Zombie"

5. ONEWE

The five-member band was formed in 2015 as M.A.S 0094 (Make a Sound 0094). The band debuted again in 2019 as ONEWE with the album 1/4. The band members are Yonghoon (leader, main vocalist), Kanghyun (guitarist), Harin (drummer), Dongmyeong (keyboardist, vocalist) and CyA (bassist, rapper).

Song Recommendation

  • "AuRoRa"

"I take out the blurred memories and bring them back to me"

— ONEWE, "AuRoRa"

3rd Line Butterfly

3rd Line Butterfly

6. 3rd Line Butterfly

3rd Line Butterfly, formed in 1999, is a highly-regarded “First Generation” indie band. Lead singer Nam SangAh, guitarist Sung Kiwan, bassist Kim NamYoon and the drummer Seo HyunJung constitute the band. The band once said in an interview, “If ‘1’ means beginning, and ‘2’ means continuity, then ‘3’ means take-off. That’s the implication of our name.”

Song Recommendation

  • "Ex-Life"

“Me who was bound by my legs and time is Ex-life!

Me who was worried about the old days is Ex-life!”

— 3rd Line Butterfly, "Ex-Life"

Fishingirls

Fishingirls

7. Fishingirls

Fishingirls is an all-women band consisting of three members: Vienna Finger (leader, main vocalist, guitarist, composer), Yang Da Yang Da (vocalist, bassist) and Yuyu (vocalist, drummer). They debuted in 2013 with the single Squeeze Out. Their songs have mostly fun lyrics.

Song Recommendation

  • "Fishing King"

"Hey friends, why don’t we go sea fishing from the rocky shore today?"

— Fishingirls, "Fishing King"

8. Odd Eye

Odd Eye is a three-member band active from 2013. Their members are Eeum, Hayule and MIKI. Their style is called "string pop." They mostly do contemporary fusion.

Song Recommendation

  • "Catch Me If You Can"

9. N.Flying

N.Flying (short for New Flying, meaning new wings) was formed in 2013. The band presently has five members: Lee Seung-hyub (leader, main rapper, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and pianist), Cha Hun (lead guitarist, backing vocal), Kim Jae-hyun (drummer, percussionist), Yoo Hwe-seung (main vocalist) and Seo Dong-sung (bassist, backing vocal). They made their Korean debut in 2015 with Awesome.

Song Recommendation

  • "Like a Flower"

"Yet another day is passing

I’m sure tomorrow will be the same old day"

— N.Flying, "Like a Flower"

10. Bandage

The band Bandage debuted in 2020 with four members: Lee Chan-sol (vocal, guitar), Kang Kyoung-yoon (drum), Shin Hyun-bin (guitar, sub-vocal) and Lim Hyeong-bin (bass, sub-vocal, keyboard, guitar). The name "Bandage" is made from a combination of the words “band” and “windage.”

Song Recommendation

  • "Invisibles"

That's the end of the list! Hope you enjoyed!

© 2021 Anjali Elizabeth

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