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This month, we’re taking a deep dive into albums that will serve as the perfect soundtrack for your late night drives. From lo-fi electronic dance music, to an R&B-tinged rap album that thrives at channelling mellow isolation, to an artist that adeptly blends euphonious crooning with honeyed production.
*Spotify links are in the album titles*
Park Hye Jin (박혜진) — If U Want It
Genre: Electronic, Dance
Released: 13 / 12 / 2018
On first listen, there’s little doubt that Park Hye Jin will remind you of her more well known contemporary – Yaeji. Both Korean-born female electronic artists that are more in tune with house music than today’s saturated EDM scene. Relying heavily on repetition in both production and vocals, the trance-like effect of their music can appeal to any aficionado of lo-fi electronic music.
Yet what separates Park from the pack is her focus on production rather than vocals. She does all of the vocal leg work across the entire record but her presence is barely felt. More often than not, it only serves to compliment her wonderfully layered production choices. It’s music that will keep you vibing till the sun comes up.
Epik High — Sleepless in _________
Genre: Rap, R&B
Released: 11 / 03 / 2019
As one of the most legendary rap groups in Korea, Epik High has been one of the trailblazers of the country’s rap scene since their formation in 2001. Though unlike the aggressively bombastic style of their American counterparts, Epik High’s discography prioritizes smooth production and heart-rending lyricism. Sleepless in _________ is no exception to this, with many longtime fans considering this to be their best work to date.
Drowning itself in sorrow and anxiety, Epik High’s dedication to vulnerable lyricism in a genre that is dominated by headstrong masculinity is refreshing. Although much of the content can only be understood if you’re fluent in Korean, the aesthetic and production quality of the record alone is more than enough to envelop you in their melancholy.
Car, the Garden — Apartment
Genre: Indie, Soul
Released: 12 / 12 / 2017
It’s easy to categorise Car, the Garden’s music under R&B given his music often consists of soft crooning and slow warbling, yet doing so would be a major disservice. Taking inspiration from genres like indie rock, soul and a slight hint of 70s pop, Car carves out a sound that’s decidedly his while feeling familiar all the same.
Apartment excels at creating an atmosphere that’s inviting yet distant. Car’s voice brims with warmth as he oozes charisma over the course of the record’s 11 tracks. Lulling you in with gentle hums and breezy refrains, the production also compliments him well with its leisurely upbeat guitar riffs and jazzy instrumentals. It’s an excellent accompaniment for your many late evenings.