K-Indie Artists You Need to Know

May 1, 2014 | 2155 Visits

Joelle Halon

[dropcap size=big]K[/dropcap]-Pop’s diversity knows no bounds, which is why it’s such a great genre of which to be involved. While many focus on the mainstream music, there is a K-Music world many tend to ignore.

The K-Indie scene is rich with strong vocals, meaningful songs, and artists that deserve recognition. Some K-Indie artists like Nell and Park Ji Yoon managed to transition to mainstream well, and other artists have potential to do so too!

If you’re new to the K-Indie scene, here are five artists you should know to start you on your K-Indie journey!

Neon Bunny
neon_bunny-via YouTubeOriginally a keyboardist for ???? (Black Shirts), Kim Yu-Jin debuted as a solo act in 2012 with Seoulights. She shocked the K-Pop world when she nabbed the Best Pop Album Award from IU at the Korean Music Awards that same year.

Neon Bunny’s soft voice adds a retro touch to her electronic sound in songs like “Plastic Heart” and “Bubbles” from her 80s-inspired album Happy Endings, which serves a great introduction to her music.
Besides her retro-electronic sound, Neon Bunny isn’t afraid of edgy lyrics. “Oh My Prince” features some swearing which many mainstream artists tend to shy away from, but this is part of her appeal.

Standing Egg-via standingeggDOTcom

 Standing Egg

Acoustic group Standing Egg is one of the quintessential K-Indie artists. Since 2010, the trio and sometimes quartet has had a rotating roster of Indie artists playing for them including Clover (Vocals, guitar), Han Kyul (Double bass), and Hana (Djembe). Sound-wise, they are a Jack-of-all-trades group, often experimenting with jazz, Bossa nova, folk, R&B, punk, and reggae!
Standing Egg’s music is rich in beauty and simplicity. Listeners may find they’re influenced by John Mayer and Maroon 5 among other artists in their sound. Their newest song, “?? ?” has a John Mayer-type groove, so even Western-music lovers may fall in love.

Humming Urban Stereo-via YouTubeHumming Urban Stereo

Since 2004, Humming Urban Stereo has proven why they have mainstream appeal. The electro-pop group released thirteen full and mini albums total, making them one of the most productive Indie groups!
Once a trio, “humming girl” Lee Jin-Hwa passed away in Japan in recent years; she had heart disease. Even in her absence, Humming Urban Stereo remains strong.
While classified as electro-pop, Humming Urban Stereo also experiments in Acid Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Jazz. Some of their most-loved songs include “Hawaiian Couple,” “You That Day,” and “Give Me Your Tonight.” In May 2014, they released a song with G.NA, “Scully Doesn’t Know,” closing the gap between Indie and mainstream K-Pop.

 

J-Walk Love...Painfully- via YouTubeFans of the first generation of modern K-Pop should fall in love with J-Walk, an Indie made up of two former members of Sechskies: Kim Jae Duc and Jang Su Won. The duo drifted slightly from their pop roots to perform softer songs that float along the ballad line.
Kim and Jang’s voices blend beautifully, which gives them their strong soothing quality. While they haven’t released many songs, they do have several memorable jams under their belts including the coffee-shop ballad “Frappuccino” that is worthy of play on a lazy Sunday morning.

 

 

 

 

Blue Near Mother-via YouTubeBlue Near Mother
Rock band Blue Near Mother has been making a lot of noise lately, and for good reason! With songs like “Change” and “I Believe” earning radio play on Arirang Radio, they are gaining the right attention at the right time.
Blue Near Mother has a lot of heart and soul. Their lyrics contain positive messages about bettering one’s self. In today’s world, a little positivity can go a long way.
The group’s vocals are rich and lack the hard edge many K-Indie rock groups like Toxic have. If they were more mainstream, they would compete with groups like FTIsland and CNBLUE since they have more of an all-ages appeal.
K-Indie has something for everyone. If you need a break from today’s K-Pop, hit the Indie scene to see what you find. With many genres covered, it won’t be hard to find something appealing!

Humming Urban Stereo
Since 2004, Humming Urban Stereo has proven why they have mainstream appeal. The electro-pop group released thirteen full and mini albums total, making them one of the most productive Indie groups!
Once a trio, “humming girl” Lee Jin-Hwa passed away in Japan in recent years; she had heart disease. Even in her absence, Humming Urban Stereo remains strong.
While classified as electro-pop, Humming Urban Stereo also experiments in Acid Jazz, Bossa Nova, and Jazz. Some of their most-loved songs include “Hawaiian Couple,” “You That Day,” and “Give Me Your Tonight.” In May 2014, they released a song with G.NA, “Scully Doesn’t Know,” closing the gap between Indie and mainstream K-Pop.

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