Wrapping Up October

Oct 31, 2023 | Review, Mini

First, I deeply apologize for not posting at all last week. My grandma passed away last weekend and it was difficult to figure out how to return to normal in the midst of that.

Per usual, in an attempt to keep these posts from being too long, there are 10 artists or less every week. If you see a recent comeback missing that you would like my feedback on, feel free to comment and I’ll try to get it in next week’s post.

Disclaimer: I am studying music production and often talk about the production of songs. I also mention other songs or artists that come to mind. This isn’t to compare talent, but to provide a reference point to what I’m hearing or describing. I will often critique, but please don’t confuse this with being negative or hating on anyone. If I honestly dislike something, it won’t be featured on the site because I’m not in the business of being mean.

With all that said, pull up a chair with your coffee or tea and let’s dive in!

Time to Waste by Saeso Didit

This track feels like an entire story in song form. And yet it also feels like a mantra or affirmation. I often lament when the artist sits in the music instead of above it in terms of mixing. But I really like how her rap almost feels like it’s part of the instrumental. Her flow feels chill and like she fits more words than should be possible in such a small amount of space at the same time. Which is impressive. It feels like driving through country roads, but on big city time. I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone else. But it’s a vibe and I love it. Check back next week to learn more about her on the podcast!

Stranger by Sunmi

This song feels very well suited for today, since this is going up on Halloween. However, Sunmi won me over years ago with her song Borderline. When I listened to Stranger for the first time, I kept feeling that something about it felt familiar, in a good way. And then I realized she worked with FRANTS on both tracks. In Borderline, she is discussing the messiness of Borderline. Stranger feels like it’s discussing another aspect of it. The ability to love someone and put them on a pedestal, while altering your personality to match their preferences, in an attempt not to lose them. In the music video, her clone creation runs off with who we’re supposed to assume is Mr. Stranger. But to me, he seems to be her manifestation of her disorder. The song feels creepy and unnerving, the choreography is a little awkward and bizarre, because borderline personality disorder can feel like all of those things. Maybe the song isn’t about that at all. But that’s how I interpreted it.

(TW: Some flashing lights and choppy editing)

Wave in my Heart by JinJin featuring YUNHWAY

It’s nice to hear JinJin sing and YUNHWAY’s rapping feels so bouncing on the beat. It’s such a breezy feeling song. It’s got an Afro Beats vibe to it. And at the same time the lyrics feel a bit deeper than the song lets on. What I love most about the song is that it’s almost like the beat was made for the vocals. Like they rapped and someone threw a beat to match it. And their voices mix very nicely. It’s already on a playlist and everything.

음악의 신 (God of Music) by Seventeen

I’ve been gravitating to so many retro style songs lately. But this one has horns instead of the funky bass that the other songs I’ve commented on lately have used for that retro feel. It is such an undeniably fun track. The lyrics really speak to the sentiment that K-Pop fans have been saying for years. But I think my favorite part is the 쿵치팍치 chorus (sounds like koong chi pak chi) which is an onomatopoeia for the beat in music. Think of drumbeats. Having that be the chorus makes it such an easy song to sing along with, proving that you don’t need to understand, in order to understand. It was a very clever move for such a light and upbeat track.

Not Ok by Loco featuring Minnie

You should know my love of chants by now, but in case you don’t. Yes. That aside, Minnie and Loco’s voices sound so pleasant side by side. The lyrics are so painfully relatable. “Even when I close my eyes, I’m not okay” is something I think so many people can relate to. Are any of us okay these days? The simple acoustic guitar and drums, with the light harmonies, make it feel like an emotional rock song during Minnie’s vocals. And then we switch to Loco and the adlibs are a bit comical. Like when you deflect from how much everything sucks with humor. I added it to my playlist before I was even done listening to it.

Loved by B.I

Another track on this list with island vibes to the music. B.I always manages to write lyrics that I wish I had written myself. Which is to say that this is also an extremely relatable song. “I need a wish in my pocket” is the kind of line that I want to hold onto. But the lines that stick are always ones like “I’ll just find somebody to blame and then I sigh.” He often puts poetry to music with his lyrics. But the super interesting part of this song is how during the verses, the chords feel like they’re being played backwards. It gives this nostalgic and disorienting feeling to the song. Like we are traveling back in time or rewinding the tape of our memories. Really cool effect.

(TW: flashing lights/images)

Your Ex by ÁBI

Like Stranger, this track feels well suited for today. I had the pleasure of talking to Ábi about this track for the podcast, so check back tomorrow for that. The song feels eerie and unsettling but also extremely relatable. First, her versatility is amazing because this song sounds rather different than most of her discography. But aside from that, this is another song where the fact that she bleeds into the music really suits the sound. I added it to a playlist immediately because it needed to be in the rotation of songs I dance to. It’s such a perfect song to move to when no one is looking. So you can be yourself without fear of the copy/paste personality thieves.

Midnight by Koven Wei, Ethan Low, and 013

This song feels like late night drives with the music up loud to drown out the feelings. It’s the kind of song that needs to be played loud while you sing along until you feel better. The guitar and the slight whine to the vocals almost gives this song a pop punk vibe, while still feeling R&B at the same time. My one complaint is that the song is way too short. It could have been twice as long, at least! So my commentary is short until they make a longer song together. But you know Midnight is already on a playlist anyway.

(TW: flashing lights/images)

Hold On by Belle Sisoski

I’ve been following Belle on social media for a while. Her covers are always such elevated versions of the original. Her production skills are crazy for being so young. So I’m really stoked about Hold On, her first original track. She uses her voice as an additional instrument, and the effect is everything music should be. You can help but move while listening to this. But it feels like it could fit in literally anywhere in the world. It’s a chant and a mantra and a call and an EDM track all at once.

Guilty by Taemin

Taemin seems to have reversed roles from where he was in Criminal. Where he was the one being entranced by a “Criminal,” now he seems to be the “guilty” one. Guilty feels obsessive, like wanting to devour the other person despite them not being on your level. But it also sounds rather toxic in the sense that, it feels like he’s toying with the other person as well. His vocals are great, obviously. I really like the slow progression in the instrumental, it sneaks up on you. And then the whispering gives the song this vibe that is not exactly sexy and not exactly creepy, it’s somewhere in between. The choreography matches the song exceptionally well. It reminds me very much of Sean Lew’s choreography. To the point that I checked if he was one of the choreographers. The song borders on feeling toxic and the choreography highlights that really well.

(TW: Self-Harm towards the end of the video)

Thank you for joining me! I hope you leave a little lighter than when you arrived.

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