1. Epik High - HOME IS FAR AWAY + LOVE STORY
Similar to Zion.T's "Yanghwa BRDG," the theme of this song is about finding one's home, thinking about family, and being lost in the city as an adult. Adequately, the M/V also serves as the visuals that accompany such mellow lyrics. Shot mostly on ground level, the scenes show Seoul during nighttime, with individuals looking for vacant taxis and having dinner alone. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness of the city life in Seoul is also shown through acts such as walking around the Han River. Relevantly put, the Korean title for "Home Is Far Away" is actually "Vacant Taxi (car), a weighted meaning that symbolizes the typical lonely life in Seoul.
2. PRIMARY, OHHYUK - Bawling
Drawing from Oh Hyuk's appearance and feature in the previous slide, the nostalgia of Seoul is also depicted in this M/V, released in 2015 under Primary. Shot during the daytime, Oh Hyuk once again wanders around Seoul alone, going through hallways of highrise apartments, walking on train tracks, and trudging through rooftops with abandoned furniture. You can also clearly see the Namsan Tower in the background. Because the M/V closes off with that landscape, this M/V is confirmed to be making itself a partial dedication to the city itself. The lyrics here are also about the loss of innocence and disillusionment, making the smooth connections to the empty portions of unoccupied places in Seoul all the more appropriate. You can see more of Seoul in the band hyukoh's "WI ING WI ING,"; in that M/V, the Han River fills the dark background from a view shot from inside of an apartment.
3. Silica Gel - NEO SOUL
Interestingly enough, some Korean comments under this M/V say that they keep reading "NEO SEOUL" instead of "NEO SOUL," a phenomenon that the band perhaps intended. This grungy, neo-psychedelic M/V roughly depicts the ordinary parts of Seoul, but in the strangest way possible. Layered with classical artworks and strobe lights, the visuals in this M/V truly shows Seoul under a different light. As if they are 'neo souls' in a 'new' Seoul, this inherently indie band Silica Gel experiments with unique artists in the city that take Tag games and whisper games to a new level. If you haven't heard of the band, now is the time to explore this side of K-Pop. (Sunmi had also shared their album on her Instagram in the past!)
4. WINNER - BABY BABY
Producers say that the weather was freezing cold while shooting this movie both in Seoul and in Incheon. Given that information, it is unclear whether the dazzling cityscape shown here is Seoul or not. However, the general vibe that this M/V gives is not too far from the theme of 'loneliness' that we've been exploring. Sky lounge bars, downtown hotels, bridges, and other places are explored by the Winner members individually here. Shot at night, "BABY BABY" highlights the feeling of listlessness -- behind all that glamour, the M/V daringly depicts typical idol members that feel lost in Seoul, especially if their hometowns are elsewhere.
5. FANTASTIC DRUGSTORE - SCARLET
This is another fantastic indie band, Fantastic Drugstore. (Not to be confused with Drug Restaurant!) This band approaches Seoul similarly to Primary and hyukoh's "Bawling" with abandoned rooftops and void spaces. A single dancer goes through the different spaces without a clear direction or movement. You will notice that Seoul has a lot of flat rooftops, as the industrial buildings after modernization made them become either congruently square or rectangle. You get a different view of Seoul on ground-level than when you're on a rooftop; when you're on the streets, you will be daunted by skyscrapers, and when you're on a rooftop, you will get to see lower buildings as well, including the ones that are less developed around the mountains. Areas called "daldongnae," they are the buildings that occupy most of Korea's hills near the city's outskirts.
6. CLAZZIQUAI PROJECT - I'M STILL BY YOUR SIDE
Clazziquai Project is a long-standing co-ed electro-indie group of Korea, and they have experimented with the M/Vs ever since their appearance. This M/V, in particular, is executed with a split-screen, showing the truly ordinary parts of Seoul near the River, like the small basketball court and mini-playgrounds. If you have ever been to Seoul, these small areas are where people of all ages exercise almost every day. Clazziquai often has ordinary individuals in their 20's or 30's explore these plain but aesthetically pleasing sides of Seoul, as they have done for the M/V of "#Curious" as well.
7. MOBB - HIT ME (ft. KUSH)
As this song is your party-till-dawn song, the M/V is no more suitable to be shot in Itaewon than elsewhere. Itaewon is a party hot place in Seoul, a go-to for a late-night drink and to mingle with both native Koreans and foreigners alike. The ride from Mino and Bobby's place to the Itaewon area in a taxi is shot quite effortlessly, adding in the humorous relationship with the middle-aged taxi driver that can often be a fun experience in Seoul. The duo actually held a huge block party in Itaewon for the shooting of this M/V, a song that really plays up to its theme of partying in the city.
8. ANDUP - 이게 난데
This rapper who famously first appeared in Show MeThe Money 4 released this M/V not long after the season's final episode. This song also revolves around the mountain-filled areas of Seoul as the backdrop, with the little houses of 'daldongnae' clearly seen during the daytime. The Han River appears in this M/V and also in Andup's other M/V, "What you gon' do."
9. SAM KIM - SEATTLE
Sam Kim's "Seattle" is a pretty interesting song and M/V, as the scenes show both of Seoul and his hometown, Seattle. As much as this song is about the singer-songwriter's nostalgia, the M/V includes flashbacks to the American city during nighttime to contrast it with daytime Seoul. Shot on a rooftop, the view of Seoul is breathtaking yet blue in this one, with a hazy feeling of homesickness that had affected Sam as a Korean American singer finding his way in Seoul.