#Playlist: Ghosts

Hi everyone!

I wasn’t sure whether to do this or not, but I’m worried that my content is suffering these days and I’m not putting out the quality I want. So I want to be sure I’m taking time to work on them properly and making sure I am including all the information I want to. I know I finally got some photos and all, but along with uni work I’m struggling to get my words up to the standard I want.

So you probably won’t see another post this week and might just see less posting from me for a while depending on how these next few weeks go. I have a few events lined up to fill the week before the term ends, so that’s also quite exciting. It’s wild that I’m over halfway through my first year at university.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling like my music needs a bit more shaking up again whilst I work on this assignment for university. Before you ask… Did I dive down into a pit of music recommendations from YouTube that I actually liked? Yes, the answer is yes.

It’s inspired this playlist of recent discoveries with a dash of songs I felt just fit right in here. It’s not too upbeat. As much as I love my pop music, I have a soft spot for music that’s kind of whimsical and dreamy but there are also some very specific things I like. Sort of deep and mildly depressing and perhaps a soundtrack for the non-existent aimless midnight wander.

Today’s playlist is a mix of English language and Korean language tracks.

Ashmute (Korean)Ghost, Scenery, Inferno – I really like the dreamy feel coming from this trio, and how they play around with the pace of their songs. My favourite of these is Ghost but Scenery has really grown on me. K-Indie tends to be kind of hit-and-miss for me as I focus on sound rather than lyrics and a lot of K-Indie can sound similar to me, but this is really nice.

Kailee MorgueGhost of Mine, Medusa – I initially got some Melanie Martinez vibes from Morgue’s vocals on Ghost of Mine. I really like this kind of music – the kind that’s just really strange and haunting but not too deep like Ruelle’s Madness – I like that sound too but not all the time.

Bipolar SunshineDaydreamer – Well… This playlist could do with some happy. I’m definitely up for listening to more Bipolar Sunshine now that I have discovered them, this is a jam.

DJ SnakeMiddle (ft. Bipolar Sunshine) – It’s funny, I do love the odd DJ Snake track I come across but I always forget to dive into their discography. This is the most upbeat track on the playlist.

MothicaOut of It – In doing a little bit of research on Mothica I saw the words ‘gloom pop’. At last, a word for the genre of music I like. I’ll go searching later for songs under this umbrella, haha.

Sojung of Ladies’ Code (Korean)Crystal Clear – Sojung has one of the most distinctive voices in the mainstream K-Pop scene and I really miss Ladies’ Code and love their newer songs so it is lovely to hear her singing again. I want to hear her in a long with Lee Hi one day. I think their voices would resonate well together.

Heize (Korean) – Jenga – There’s something odd about the end of the hook that I really like. What is it, dissonance? It was odd but now I really like it. I first watched Heize on Unpretty Rapstar 2 for a bit and really liked her as well as Kitti B and Yubin.

Heyne (Korean) – Insomnia (Unofficial, included to omit the snoring in the official MV)|Official MV – Heyne’s unusual voice is what stopped this from being too boring for me. That and perhaps the fact that she’s actually 26-ish and looks (and sounds) younger than me!

Tei ShiNevermind The End (unofficial)|Official MV, Say You Do (unofficial)| Official MV – I’ve been listening a lot to these two tracks recently. They’re just really nice to loop.

FazerdazeLucky Girl – I’m hoping this is a nice choice to tie off the playlist as well as leading back to the beginning when I feel like it.

I hope you’ve discovered something that you like today. I’ll get back to writing my uni assignment now!

Until next time,

X

My Experience at G-Dragon’s ‘Act III: MOTTE’ Tour in Birmingham

I may have recounted this story a number of times, but I got into K-pop because a family friend spent her gap year in Korea and came back with a K-pop mix on a CD, full of Bigbang and SHINee’s old hits and Lee Hyori’s U Go Girl. We played it when her mom picked us up from school all the time, and Haru Haru was my favourite song for an age and a half.
That was like, ten years ago. I listen to K-pop like I listen to just about everything else – casually and not as obsessively as I used to, but if you strike a K-pop conversation with me I’m not going to stop talking. Where do I even get all these trivia from? I don’t even know. I joined the K-Soc at my uni so hopefully, I will make friends who I can be just as chatty with.
Anyway. G-Dragon held a concert in Birmingham recently, and I knew whatever it cost, I would end up going. It was very pricey for a concert so I settled for a seat that was still £120+. GD was my first love of K-pop but I don’t love him as much now to pay £200+ for the VIP Silver Soundcheck package like a certain relative of mine… (You don’t even get to meet him for that money…)
It was my first concert at Genting so I was quite excited! I ended up there many hours early since I was tagging along with VIPers but that meant I could grab food and still be in my seat an hour and a half before the show started. It also meant the wait for the show to start was pretty much unbearable.
The Genting Arena doesn’t allow fancy cameras like my DSLR (darn it!!) so I am still stuck with the phone camera I used last year, sadly, which is why my photos are less than impressive. I spent the rest of my time jamming along to everything he performed.
The show was all bright lights and dark visuals. MOTTE, for G-Dragon himself, is a show exploring himself- his identity as GD and as Kwon Ji Yong, and it did feel quite personal, also including video interviews with his friends and family. The setlist started from his old hits and ended with almost all the songs from his most recent EP, Kwon Ji Yong. It was separated into three acts this way.
I noticed people were more hyped towards the second act when he performed more recent and well-known songs (and especially CROOKED in the encore because we UK fans have a soft spot for it – he filmed the video in London). It was a shame people weren’t as excited for A-YO and Obsession as I was, though! They are two of my favourite songs by GD.
I met some wonderful fellow concert-goers whilst there. From the pair of girls waiting for food to the girl I sat next to as we both went to the concert alone, to the girls who helped me charge my phone and find my relative after the battery died, and also got me the poster that is now on my wall. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my casual listening of K-pop and this night was no different.
I am so happy that there have been more K-pop concerts in the UK recently (Crush, ZICO, Dean, GD and KARD all in the last year and Hyukoh next month) so I get to indulge in live music I love. I am putting my bets on BTS being the next big act to hit the UK, seeing as they are doing fabulously internationally.
Who are you waiting on to hold a concert?
Until next time,
X

The Saving Goddesses of K-Pop (This month, anyway.)

Since the mock exams and reports and self assessments as such, I’ve been on a hiatus in more ways than one. I didn’t go to Archery, or knit, or draw, or anything at all. I did turn 18 though, which is something. Wow, guys, I’m an adult now – she says with a serious deadpan face and unparalleled un-enthusiasm.

Slowly I’ve been picking things up again and today, the weather was so nice and the light was nice too, so I’ve just had a photo-taking session so that photos won’t hold me back from reviewing products and posting those.

Anyhow. Back to the topic of this post at hand. I went through a cringey phase, back when I was about 10-11 years old, where I was utterly convinced that Japanese things were better than Korean things, and later on, I became obsessed with Kpop. Then I became obsessed with everything, absolutely everything at once that was not ‘Western’. I guess now I hold an interest in everything whether it’s Western or not, but all that is far muted compared to how it was before. I do feel that partly, new music releases haven’t given me too much to be excited about, but that has changed.

Let me introduce you to some female artists who, I believe, really are fresh in K-Pop right now who have all released exciting new stuff quite recently.

Lee Hi
– My k-pop bae. It’s been three or four years since her last comeback, and since then, she and I both grew up and are adults now. Her sound has matured to match, as well, from ‘First Love’ to ‘Seoulite’. Even just by the names of those releases, you can see the growth from lovely teenager to cool young city adult, right?
Her voice has changed, too. It’s smoother and less husky, but still very distinctly her. Tablo and his independent label, HIGHGRND basically took the reins for producing this album and I hope y’all know I love his stuff, so I knew this album would impress me.

This entire Seoulite EP shines, by the way. It was decided to promote ‘Hold Your Hand’ because of its consistency with her previous, fun MVs like ‘1,2,3,4’ and ‘It’s Over’, and ‘Breathe’ was written by Jonghyun of SHINee and reminds us all why we love this voice so goddamn much. I hate generic ballads, usually, but this one isn’t generic and it sticks.

The other three tracks, ‘World Tour’ with MINO from WINNER, ‘Official’, and ‘Fxxk WIT US’ are, how shall I say, very underground (and very Tablo) in comparison. Whilst the two promoted tracks are true to her fan-loved style, the other three bring out a new style for her and really solidify this modern and mature concept that surrounds this EP.

SeouliteTL
Lee Hi makes pink cool.

Whoops, this turned into a fan burst. I guess you can tell – I really, really, love Lee Hi and Seoulite. I also love Tablo for making this album a reality because honestly? We were not expecting to see her have a comeback any time soon.

Mamamoo
– I started keeping track of these girls starting with ‘Aah-Oop’, and then their new album, ‘Melting’ fixed them onto my radar.

I don’t even have words. Like damn, they can sing.

I mean, these girls released a song that’s 100% themselves dissing each other’s heights.

Ladies’ Code
– Some of you might have heard of the big news concerning Ladies’ Code last year. They had five members, two of whom died in a really bad car accident. Despite this, they are back as a trio. Have you noticed that there are five seats at the table? I’m all emotional. There’s something sentimental and hopeful about the song, as well as a vibe that tells you that, y’know, these girls are moving forward with EunBi and Rise in their hearts.

Yezi of Fiestar
– Yes, I am aware that Fiestar have just had a group comeback. But I think this particular solo debut still blows that out of the water. Yezi rose to popularity on the 2nd season of Unpretty Rapstar, an all-female, badly edited rapping show, from the ‘Crazy Dog’ performance (the song made it into her mini album, too) to her general badassery, she was definitely one to watch. Unfortunately, I don’t really like the video to Cider because she just seems a little bratty there, but they released a video for ‘Sse Sse Sse’! It features three more rappers from the series, all of whom I like.

I’d like to include ‘Someone Like U’ by Dalshabet and ‘Sting’ by Stellar as notables that didn’t make it, because I liked the songs by themselves and didn’t have much to say besides that they are catchy as hell. I hope you liked my sudden return and these new music recommendations!

Until next time,

X