K-Pop Song of the Week #4

This song of the week isn’t really considered K-Pop but the band is unique in a landscape of musical sameness and so I will write on. This week’s video is Jaurim’s “Icarus.” A friend of mine put me onto this group a couple months ago and I’ve been creeping on them all over youtube ever since. The band’s name ‘Jaurim’ is Korean for ‘purple forest’ and they’ve been kickin’ around the independent music scene since the mid 90’s.

Jaurim, courtesy of oocities.org

Jaurim, courtesy of oocities.org

Their first single to gain public notoriety was “hey hey hey” from the motion picture Man Holding Flowers in 1997. Since then their 8 official full-length albums (as well as other side project albums and OST work) and 16 years of fine-tuning have turned Jaurim into a musical tempest in the indie world and beyond. In a music scene where mini-albums and a constant rotation of new singles is the norm, Jaurim takes their time and produces a stand-alone sound in the Korean music industry.

A lot of people people say that lead singer/songwriter Kim Yuna reminds them of Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine because of her powerful vocals. It’s true that they have similar sounds but I’d like to point out that Jaurim’s got a solid 12 years on the English indie rockers and had 7 studio albums released by the time Florence and friends released Lungs in 2009. Just sayin’.

Courtesy of wewantkpop.com

Courtesy of wewantkpop.com

Regardless, their 9th official album entitled Goodbye, grief  is soulful, catchy and just plain cool. It’s easy to plug in the track names with “english sub” or “english translation” on the internet but even if you don’t; the songs really take over your head space. Especially Icarus (이카루스). My advice: Let them take the wheel. I’m sure they’ll return your mind in great condition when they’re done and they seem like the type to even fill up the tank. Enjoy.

Jaurim “Icarus” video

For some older listening from Jaurim, check out “You and Me” from their 2006 album Ashes to Ashes or “Peep Show” or “Idol” from their last album Conspiracy Theory in 2011. Happy listening!

K-Pop Song of the Week #3

This week’s K-Pop song of the week features the collaborative hip-hop grandmasters, known as MFBTY (My Fans Better Than Yours).  The three-member group consists of Korea’s hip-hop legend Tiger JK, one of Korea’s best female rappers Yoon Mirae (Tasha) and Tiger’s long-time creative partner MC Bizzy. Yoon Mirae and Tiger JK are married with one son and I think are the coolest married couple of all times.

All three were a big influence in Korean hip-hop when the scene was still evolving in the mid-to-late 1990’s. They’re still big now and have continued to make their way in the industry by doing their own thing free of major label pressures.

Courtesy of lastfm.com

Courtesy of lastfm.com

Tiger JK, known as the Korean Jay-Z of hip-hop, founded and runs his own label called Jungle Entertainment and continues to cultivate independent hip-hop culture. As a testament to their success (not that they need it), MFBTY were selected to represent Korean pop music and this year’s MIDEM conference in Cannes, France in January of 2013. MIDEM is only THE biggest business gathering in the universe for those working in the music industry at any capacity. Whether you’re in sales, production, distribution, soundtracks or spinning records, this conference is the place to be. And MFBTY tore the place up.

Check out a clip of their performance at MIDEM here: MFBTY at MIDEM 2013

The song featured this week is called “Sweet Dream” and takes place partly in our world and partly in an alternative universe. If that alone didn’t sell you, I’ll continue. The video begins with a woman (Yoon Mirae) wanting to be with her lover (Tiger JK) who is strapped to a hospital bed and riddled with wires. Her lyrics say “I want to go where you are” and that she does. Enter the alternate universe, or dreamworld, if you will.

The badass hip-hop queen proceeds to feed her sick hubby to an electronic titanium tiger to free him from his earthly prison. Once broken free, the two carry on with MC Bizzy in a care-free dream land where cars can swim, beds can drive and Jesus can rap. The special effects are awesome and CGI fans will enjoy this no doubt. It’s light-hearted, high-energy and positive with a pumping beat that will make you want to move. The video is visually stimulating and the song itself rises and falls from beautiful croons to thumping fist pumps in a matter of seconds. All around highly satisfying and has not left the “hype mix” on my ipod playlist in months.

Check out “Sweet Dream” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D20bTiJNQpQ

Enjoy, and if you have any suggestions for songs I should check out, don’t hesitate to send me a line in the comment box below!

Until next time, much love.

K-Pop Song of the Week #2

This week’s K-Pop song of the week comes to you from the youngest member of the powerhouse boy band, Big Bang. Big Bang has been hit-making wonder boys since 2006 and get street cred for writing and producing their own songs – unlike most in the K-Pop industry.

Big Bang from their "Alive" album. Photo courtesy of soompi.com

Big Bang from their “Alive” album. Photo courtesy of soompi.com

Seungri is Big Bang’s youngest member and he’s all grown up in this video, let me tell you.  His first solo album “V.V.I.P.” came out in 2011 and had great success in both Korea and Japan. This year, he’s released his second solo album, “Let’s Talk About Love” and it’s currently on the charts in both countries once again.

His latest single is “I’ve Gotta Talk to You” and it’s been in my head for weeks. It’s got a sultry beat with laid back guitars and flutes that transform into sexytime by the time the chorus hits.

This is the man:

Seungri from his album "Let's Talk About Love." Dude, we can talk about anything you want. Photo courtesy of 24-7kpop.com.

Seungri from his album “Let’s Talk About Love.” Dude, we can talk about anything you want. Photo courtesy of 24-7kpop.com.

This is the video:

If you want to see what he’s saying in English, type in “Seungri gotta talk to you eng sub.” Could’ve posted here  but I wanted you to see the full video in all it’s glory. The English sub videos just have a still picture with lyrics running below. Not as hot. Enjoy. You’re welcome :)


K-Pop Song of the Week

For this inaugural edition of the K-Pop Song of the Week, I’ve selected a special track that warrants two videos as it is actually two songs. Allow me to explain.

EXO is a band that was formed in Seoul, South Korea, comprised of 12 members: 6 are Korean and 6 are Chinese. The Korean members are known as Exo-K and sing in Korean while the Chinese members are known as Exo-M and sing in Mandarin. Both halves have seen great popularity in their respective countries since their debut just over a year ago and continue to impress with their latest mini-album entitled XOXO.

For all you K-Pop fans out there, please don’t be angry because your favourite group is not listed thus far. For starters, this is just the beginning :) Secondly, there is no method to my K-Pop madness. I will simply choose what I’m into the most at the time and post as my ears lead the way. So don’t stress, there will be many weeks ahead for your favourite songs to carve a spot in KiK.

And hey! If you’ve got your hands/ears on a new track you think I should check out, lemme know! K-pop fans unite!

Exo-K “Growl”

Exo-M “Growl”

*Note: There is a second version of each of these videos with a more detailed set and more than one camera shot. I chose the first version so you can see who the members of each crew are and also to showcase their sweet moves :)