Tag Archives: Korea

February 12, 2018 — “Old Town” by Say Sue Me

Say Sue Me

If you only listen to one song tonight. make it “Old Town” by Say Sue Me (2018, from the forthcoming album Where We Were Together)

Say Sue Me is an indie pop/twee/cuddlepunk/surfgaze quartet from Busan, South Korea. I don’t know anything about them other than that they formed in 2012, released an album called We’ve Sobered Up, and they released a Record Store Day EP called Semin last year. It’s my understanding that the EP was named as a tribute to the band’s drummer Kang Semin, who is in a coma. It is not, thankfully, a tribute to former NHLer Alexander Semin, whose career trajectory went very rapidly from “elite player” to “bum” almost overnight during his tenure in Carolina.

I had never heard of the band until I was doing some research today. I sort of randomly ended up on this song, and I really love it. It reminds me of the gloriously gloomy but bouncy twee-pop of Camera Obscura and The Concretes mixed with something like Veronica Falls. I love it.

“Old Town” by Say Sue Me

It’s a song about growing tired and growing old in a town where everyone else is leaving. The hero of the story wants to leave and also wants to stay. There’s not much to the lyrics, which are in perfect English, but there’s a lot to the melody and the big hook. There’s a bit after the second chorus with some hand claps and vocalizing. It’s magnificent, and there’s no way you can have a frown on your face while listening.

I’ve just listened a bunch of times in a row, and it keeps getting better.

Where We Were Together will be released on April 13. You can pre-order it via Bandcamp here, and enjoy an immediate download of “Old Town”.

03.31.2015 — “Alleys” by Vidulgi OoyoO

Vidulgi OoyoO

If you only listen to one song that isn’t from one of today’s great new releases (Godspeed, The Soft Moon, etc), make it “Alleys” by Vidulgi OoyoO (2013, from the album Officially Pronounced ALIVE).

Vidulgi OoyoO is a shoegaze/post-rock quartet from Seoul. Their name
— 비둘기 우유 — translates from Korean to English as “Pigeon Milk” or “Dove Milk”. I’m not sure where “Vidulgi Ooyoo” comes from.

The band started in 2003, and the four founding members were using Vidulgi OoyoO, or 비둘기 우유, as a side project. In 2004, their original drummer had to fulfill his compulsory military service and their original singer quit the band while they decided to take a break. Two new members joined, and as far as I know, they’ve kept the same lineup since then. They released their first album —Aero— in 2008, and Officially pronounced ALIVE in 2013. Two albums in 12 years isn’t the model for success, but I get the impression that they’re totally fine with the way they’re doing things.

That right there is everything that I know about this band. I just stumbled upon their stuff in my Soundcloud feed thanks to the very hard-working Dean “Shoegaze” Bromley. Every day, he shares tons of new stuff in his soundcloud feed, and a significant portion of it is new to me. That’s where I found this band, and that’s where I find a bunch of the stuff that I write about.

Other songs on this album are louder, fuzzier, gazier. I really like this one, though. In this song, it’s pretty clear that they consider Galaxie 500 to be heroes. Who can blame them?

“Alleys” by Vidulgi OoyoO

I really like that the first half of the song is nice and melodic and pretty dreamy, while the second half is much louder and dirtier. In the first half, there are some parts that remind me of those bits in Explosions in the Sky songs where it gets really quiet, then quickly builds to deafening heights. So for me, anyway, there was this anticipation of a big sonic roar that never came. I kind of like that. I doubt that they did that as an intentional tease, but that’s what I got out of it. There’s the really quiet section from 5:00 to 5:21, then a gradual build to where it finally gets really big somewhere around 6:15. Later, during the “loud” section, there’s a bit of glockenspiel. And everyone knows how much I love that.

You can shop for the CD over at Amazon. It’s pretty spendy, but here’s one. Although I
don’t usually recommend buying anything from the iTunes store, you can buy it digitally there for a much more reasonable price.

You should also enjoy the video of them playing the song at a record release party:

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