Category: Blog

K-Pop – Is It Here To Stay?

Many would like to believe that K-Pop isn’t a real genre, that it’s just a trend that will go away sooner than later. They have their reasons and they’re not wrong. Every major music genre that felt like dominating the world came down to nothing at some point.

Every Trend Dies

Do you remember when people thought that rock’n’roll was going to dominate the music industry forever? Talk about rap and trap nowadays. These things have been always this way. When people thought that something was going to stay forever on the top of the game, they sooner or later fall to see another thing rise up.

But, although K-Pop is just the music genre that’s currently dominating world stages, it won’t be the most dominating thing forever. Everything aside, it wouldn’t be fair to say that K-Pop isn’t a real genre, trying to brand it as a trend. To me, it’s a demeaning way of saying “I don’t recognize you.”

They’re Evolving Their Own Sound

It all started in the 1990s, when that kind of music was big everywhere in the world, they just picked up the trend at that moment. Some say that Koreans are living in the past featuring those boybands right now, but they’ve been evolving their own formula for years now.

It’s pretty simple to recognize a really old K-Pop song from a new one. They’re evolving their own sound without copying everything it’s done here in the Western like they used to do back in the day. The formula is working perfectly, as they’re now starting to dominate this market in the same fashion, and there’s not one artist from here to cash that niche. Maybe boybands aren’t as obsolete as we thought they were.

Variety and the US Market

Within the genre, there is a clear difference between some of their artists, and like every genre, they’re working really hard in order to create a visually appealing product that can be consumed by their prime market, which is South Korea. Things are changing though, and there’s one band that’s coming to the US with more force than any other, they’re BTS.

With their newest release, they’re opening up to the US market, and they’re actually living the dream. Girls, drinking, partying, luxury travels, and everything in-between are part of their gigantic business, and they’re still so young it’s ridiculous.

Some of the songs have English choruses in an attempt to lure some English speaking fans into their business model, which is one of the most proficient in South Korea. They recently showcased in the AMAs and everybody is talking about it.

Although people like to hear songs in English most of the time, the trend is changing, with artists like Shakira and Pitbull being big brands everywhere in the world, not just in the US. This change of mentality caused a stream of Korean music into our country. People don’t care anymore, and they shouldn’t.

Tuesday Reviews – BTS / Hatchie

Another Tuesday, another set of reviews. This week on Tuesday Reviews, we’re about to show you two releases that although they may seem like they don’t belong to the same list, music is something that unites us, and that is something we strongly commute with. This week’s favorite releases were the following:

BTS – Love Yourself ‘Tear’

Yes, a K-Pop album, but this is not some random K-Pop band that only your 16-year-old niece will know, this is BTS, a massive boy band from South Korea that has been getting into the US market the last couple of years and after their showcase in some US events, they’re starting to become a big name here in the states.

This is an immense pop-sounding state-of-the-art record featuring rap like never before on a TBS album. It was written and arranged with help from Pdogg and Hitman Bang. More often than not, their songs go about mental well-being and social responsibility, which is a big thing in South Korea, however, many fans would like to listen to more personal songs in the future.

This record talks to you about that feeling you get when you are just coming out of a really intense relationship. That lingering moment of emptiness which all of us have been able to feel. While this could seem too dark for a pop-sounding extravaganza like this one, all the songs get to a wellness closure.

Hatchie – Sugar and Spice ET

Well, this isn’t an LP, but you can’t find ETs like this one every day, and it needed a good featuring on the Tuesday Reviews. Australian bassist and singer-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam presented herself as Hatchie is bringing us this collection and let us tell you, her version of dream pop is much poppier than dreamier. This is not a bad thing, we all love a little bit of The Cranberries on anything.

These verses and choruses are what the genre’s fans are here for, and this girl can deliver. The acoustic guitar on the first track, “Sure,” reminds us of older songs from the 90s and the bass line makes it all work well together. On the other song, “Try,” she dives into the healing process of a toxic couple. It isn’t a sexy song, but she definitely can put out a solid pop song.

While most pop albums are solely focused on any side of the spectrum in regards to a relationship, this album just wants to sink into the in-between, right when things are most confusing and feelings are under our skins. These melodies are great, and the sound is pretty decent too, that’s why it’s featured today, check it out.

Were your musical needs satisfied for the week? If you’re more into high-class produced pop songs, you can’t miss on the new BTS album, but if you’re more into the classic type of pop music, with gigantic hooks and big choruses, the Sugar and Spice ET will have you singing for some time.

6 Important Rules for Every Indie Musician

Being in an independent working band can be fun sometimes, but it can be exhausting as well. Taking so much time just to make a negligible amount of money isn’t that much fun, but people still work their bodies off to make great music. Indie musicians and songwriters are, in many people’s opinion, the only thing that’s saving any art scene known to man right now.

There are some rules to this game though. Not everyone is willing to do the things necessary in order to succeed in a competitive market. Music exists as a business, and if you want to live off it, you have to learn the basics, and before you go luxury traveling the world with your music, you have to learn the most important rules for turning that dream into a reality:

You will invest

A lot of musicians think they can win a lot of money without investing in them and their product. You’ll have to put money down to get more and better gear, you will have to pay for classes just to get better in your craft. Same holds true when you pick up a sports car hire in Miami, which can be quite costly but a great luxury car experience. Without this, you won’t compete and you’ll fail.

You will have to be confident

Many musicians who call themselves “artists” are willing to lose all of their own personality in order to work all year round, and while this could be considered a positive thing, most of them end up being prisoners of the trend train. If you develop your own style, sooner or later you will shine for your own work and not a trend.

You will have to deal with costumers

You have to understand that without the praise of an audience, you have nothing. It’s really important to know how to make them feel appreciated every time you go and showcase your talent. If you don’t do it the right way, someone will, and they will earn the money you’re missing out.

You will hire some staff down the road

Even though you’re an artist, you’ll have to deal with the business part of things, and when the time comes, you’ll have to be prepared for it. Surround yourself with a good manager, bookkeeper, and never forget to have an attorney for every difficult decision. They will save you from trouble and save you money in the process.

You will deal with attorneys

The smartest businessmen use attorneys in order for them to perform optimally, and so should you, especially in Rome as a luxury car rental can be a costly undertaking. You have to see them as guardians, they are in charge of protecting your company from breaking the law, signing foolish contracts, and even from lawsuits against you. These are necessary for your brand to grow safely.

You will have to know your niche and your competitors

Be willing to study a little bit. The best company owners pay for lots of research in order for them to know their market better and therefore, take more money out of it. Know your competition too, as they obviously know what they’re doing. Try to mimic them and learn their best tricks in the process.

Many people would say they’d love to be an independent artist, but knowing all the work they have to endure to make it happen puts us into perspective. Be willing to do every single thing listed here if you want that lifestyle. Good luck in your endeavors.

Tuesday Reviews – Bruce Springsteen / Quiet Slang

You know Tuesday Reviews, and today is a new day for showcasing the best two albums that you should be aware of during this past week’s release parade. This week, the competition was strong with albums like Cannonball! from Sen Morimoto and Rausch from Gas, but we have our favorites.

Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel Of Love

This is like a hidden treasure for every Springsteen fan out there, featuring his complete output from 1987 to 1996, with every track remastered and a nice vinyl set to make it pretty. Not everyone is going to be searching this kind of craft nowadays, but people like us always gravitate towards these releases. The nostalgia trip has just begun with this one.

This period of Springsteen is different from his 1984’s commercial peak Born in the U.S.A. With darker lyrics, focusing on a constant rant about how everyone from his era was manipulated into a life they weren’t happy about. Things that used to matter to them were no longer driving them into a happy lifestyle. Springsteen is the voice of that generation.

This period was also greatly shaped by the fact that he had to form another band to record it after disbanding Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1988. The “others” were a group from Los Angeles studio who recorded three records alongside the rock star.

Quiet Slang – Everything Matters But No One Is Listening

James Alex is here again, and this time is bringing a Sufjan Stevens vibe with this new album, which features fear as the root of all problems. In this album, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of judgment, and fear of feeling vulnerable are the main staples in a calmed, relaxed-sounding record that can bring you to tears on some occasions, which is something we’re not accustomed to.

This is a normal evolution for any old-time rock person. Nobody wants to keep sounding the same when they’re old, and this guy is no different. The natural sound of a piano, a cello, and Alex’s vocals, make it seem like this man reached a new level of matureness. It’s something really different from the same man who founded Beach Slang and we can’t get enough of it.

In this record, Alex explores that anxiety feeling everyone gets when showing their truest colors to a person that makes them feel vulnerable. Although many people will say that it can get repetitive at some point, this record is one of those jewels to have when things go south and you just want to feel everything at once.

What do you think? Are you a Springsteen fan? We’re sure that the collector’s box they assembled is the perfect gift for one of those enthusiasts. On the other hand, Quiet Slang is something that everybody should be paying attention to, even with its repetitive quirks.

Tuesday Review – City Girls / Wax Idols

Like every single week here on the Tuesday Reviews, we’re about to show you the most impressive records of this week’s release chart. This one is nothing to be ashamed of, as we had several good releases, and these two are the ones making us happy at the moment.

City Girls – Period

Rappers JT and Yung Miami are coming out with this new album, which features the duo’s synergy to a high level. While the album is something which delivers true potential, the sound doesn’t come out as hardcore as the title suggests. We all thought the record would be something with more of an attitude, but they decided to tone it down too much for our taste in a genre that speaks that language.

The album gets to be a little bit too much on the menstruation side of things, with verses like “On my period, PMSing/And my nigga f***ng on me, and I’m stressing,” on it, which could get stressing in itself to some listeners who are not accustomed to the genre. These girls are not playing, and we think that’s a good thing.

These girls aren’t talking about stars or a new wave of consciousness, as their basic needs don’t seem to be in check. Money, sex, expensive bags, luxury cars, and the whole nightlife glitter is part of the deal. This record ends up being a marriage between hip-hop and women, which is beautiful enough in itself.

Wax Idols – Happy Endings

With this new album, Wax Idols are completely changing their aesthetic, going from a post-punk sound to a more melodramatic and theatrical Goth-like rock, and it works like a charm. This is not a new trend, as other bands as The Cure already did something similar. You just have to listen to their discography and you’ll understand. It seems like Goth always flourish when bands change their writing to a more “storytelling” style.

Vocalist and bandleader Hether Fortune express more loneliness and sadness than ever before, seeming to be indecisive about life and death. This created something different in the band’s history, as this album could be considered one of the most accessible in all of their repertoire, featuring the catchiest hooks heard from them and the writing style to make it work.

Throughout the band’s discography, is pretty common to find Fortune’s vocals limited, with a range suited for that post-punk vibe they used to have, but things changed, and she’s now on the lose, using her voice as never before, creating an appealing package that will last.

Here they are, which one did you like the most? Are the City Girls with their menstruation theme and basic hip-hop vision, or is it Wax Idols with their loneliness-supercharged extravaganza? We just feature them here every Tuesday, you be the judge.

Tuesday Reviews – The Sea and Cake / Barely March

Today on the Tuesday Review, we want to share with you two new albums that have us singing like little kids, thinking about our high school days. One of them is full of that punkish vibe from the early 2000s, while the other is bringing the post-rock genre to a new dimension with a country-like jazzy vibe that we haven’t heard before like that.

The Sea and Cake – Any Day

Well, this is a band that everybody should know by now, but they’re actually not in that spot yet. Some reviewers say that they have been taken for granted too much, claiming that they’re already a staple in their own genre. This is not far from the truth, as they are pioneers of a sound they have nurtured over the years.

It’s pretty awesome how they have been able to create a good sequence with all their albums, seeming almost like if they’re composing music for the next before launching the current one. In this record, John McEntire’s guitar sound is amazing, with gliding notes all over the place, on the other hand, Archer Prewitt released all of his jazz background on his guitar and keyboard tracks.

This record challenges the idea of constant change for a working band, advocating for a solid sounding discography with a similar taste on every album.

Barely March – Barely March

Coming out with a recorded-at-home album, Barely March are here to make us think about when we were younger and things didn’t matter as much, also when love was the biggest concern in our head. In this record, the absurdity of post-breakup depression gets totally exposed as it is. The pop-punk nostalgia train just came out of the station.

This is one of the newest albums portraying the Long Island Punk genre, which is also very adequate for these type of lyrics. The wall-of-sound guitars with too much compression add to the mix. The record isn’t clean, we’ll admit that, but it’s coming directly from the heart. The emo melodrama is something that’s not for everyone, but when someone makes it right, you got to give credit.

Composer Chris Keough got dumped and spent the whole winter writing and recording in his mother’s laptop about his anxiety, his solitude, and his willingness to feel like a total loser. He made it right.

These are the two records that wow us the most this week. We’re not sure about how we’re going to feel about next week’s releases, but when we do, we’ll be here to post it and discuss about it. Until the next one, keep the music going.