HYUKOH – 'THROUGH LOVE'
2. Hey Sun
3. Silverhair Express
4. Flat dog
5. World of the Forgotten
6. New born
K-Indie band hyukoh has just dropped their newest album, 'through love.' There are several things about this album that set it apart from everything else.
For one thing, it's available on YouTube. No kidding. " target="_blank">The whole album released as "official audio" by the band. That's actually pretty cool. If your pocketbook's been stretched pretty thin this year, you're not going to have to worry about this one.
Also, most of the songs are in English. Heavily-accented English, to be sure, but English nonetheless. So for all of you who speak the language, this is probably a welcome change.
The first song, "Help," is a deadpanned admission that they trust in Jesus. Regardless of how you feel about that, it sounds like they don't care. You might not, either. It's pretty low-key and is one of the songs done in English. The mostly falsetto "Hey Sun" posits that we're waiting for the end to come. I'm not, but they are. It's underscored by the ethereal nature of the tune, sounding echoey and a little far away. Like...the sun. I might also mention that this is the second mention of that celestial body in as many songs.
"Silverhair Express" is one of the songs sung in Korean. It sounds fairly retro, with some echoes of the 60s in there. The lyrics are fairly circular. They tell you not to be sad because you're loved. "Flat dog" has a fuzzy guitar sound driving it. I like this one a lot, and it's different than any other song on the album. The lyrics are pretty upbeat. It reminds me of classic rock sometimes. This is one of the two songs sung in Korean.
They slow things down for "World of the Forgotten." This is a strange song. Not only are both verses the same, but the singer is asking some unknown person where they know them from, Bern or Taipei. "New born" is the final song on the EP. It's a weird song, deliberately obscured and echoey. The lyrics are just as obscure, possibly talking about the impermanence of things.
It's a bold move by a band to release the whole album for free. I don't see that too often. I know MFBTY did it, but I can only think of a few others recently. On the one hand, they might sell fewer albums. But on the other, it might earn them new fans, or loyalists who will buy the album, regardless. They'll probably clean up in ad revenues, anyway.
One of the things I like about this album is that it defies classification. The band crosses genres pretty effortlessly, and they don't pander to the masses. At times this collection reminds me of some of the more languorous sounds of shoegaze. Think Slow Dive, not My Bloody Valentine. I like these guys a lot, because they don't try to sound like anyone else.
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0