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10 Korean Indie Bands That Should Be On Your Playlist

To celebrate the ever growing cultural explosion of Korean music in the UK, we have listed 10 Korean indie bands that should be on your playlist. If I am missing any, comment below with your favourite Korean indie bands.

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3RD LINE BUTTERFLY

Known as part of the first generation of Korean indie musicians, 3rd Line Butterfly is an alternative indie rock band based in Seoul and is composed of Nam Sang Ah (vocals & guitar) Suh Hyun Jeong (drums) and Kim Nam Yoon (bass). Though known for their indie rock sounds, you can find that they reinvent themselves in every album with their most recent album, ‘Divided by Zero’, blending their original style with indie synth-pop and electro pop. They will be playing at this year's K-Music Showcase on 10th May at Rich Mix in London

If you like Hole or Sonic Youth, listen to 3rd Line Butterfly here

DTSQ

DTSQ, a punk rock band mixed with shots of various genres such as blues, electronic, psychedelic, jazz and pop, consist of members Kim Su-hyun (vocalist, guitarist), Lee Joon-sub (drummer) and Park Soon-pyung (keyboardist, synthesizer). With their unique style, DTSQ is noted for using an added synthesiser in unusual ways, setting their sound apart from other punk rock bands. Formed in September 2014, by July the following year, DTSQ won the 'Hello Rookie' award at EBS.

If you like The White Stripes or The Killers, listen to DTSQ here

PATIENTS

Patients, a self-dubbed “hybrid-punk” band noted for replacing the sounds of an electronic guitar for a keyboard, consist of members Sumin Jo (bass, vocal), Hyuckjang Kwon (keyboards) and Soowon Choi (drums). With their tuneful melodies, and the mix of punk and experimental electronic tones of new wave and dance, Patients is a band where you will find yourself uncontrollably jumping and dancing around whether at home or during a night out.

If you enjoy listening to LCD Soundsystem or Two Door Cinema Club, listen to Patients here

BILLY CARTER

Billy Carter, a three-piece blues,rock trio is comprised of Jiwon Kim (vocalist), Jina Kim (guitarist) and Hyunjoon Lee (drummer). Known for their energetic live performances that makes the audience want to dance, Billy Carter first started out as a Rock ‘n’ Roll band but expanded their music through blues, rockabilly and a bit of country. Their two new EP’s ‘The Green’ and ‘The Orange’ takes the band down a new path and mixes electronic and psychedelic with their original sounds and showcase the bands rough and raw emotion. This summer, they will be playing at this year's K-Music Showcase on 10th May at Rich Mix, Brighton's Great Escape Festival and Liverpool Sound City

If you like the Sex Pistols or Arcade Fire then listen to Billy Carter here

ADOY

Formed in 2016, electronic rock band ADOY’s members have been around the Korean indie music scene for quite some time before the band was formed. Comprised of Juhwan Oh (vocal, guitar) from the late band Eastern Sidekick, Zee (synths) of From The Airport, Zozo (guitar) from Watersports, Dayoung Jung (bass, vocal) and Geunchang Park (drums) from Trampauline, ADOY like to describe themselves as commercial indie. Releasing their first EP ‘Catnip’ in 2017, the smooth electronic rock sounds make for a perfect track while cracking open a beer and hanging out with friends.

Fan of Pet Shop Boys or Muse, give ADOY a try here

SAY SUE ME

Say Sue Me, a surf-rock inspired indie band hailing from Busan, South Korea, and signed by UK record label Damnably Records in 2017, is formed of Sumi Choi (vocals, guitar), Byungkyu Kim (guitar, chorus), Jaeyoung Ha (bass) and Changwon Kim (drums). With hints of dreamy pop mixed with their surf rock style, Say Sue Me find inspiration from their love of 60’s surf and 90’s US indie rock. With the release of their sophomore album ‘Where We Were Together’ on 13th April, 2018, Say Sue Me will be touring the UK throughout April and May to support the release.

If you like listening to Best Coast or Surfer Blood, listen to Say Sue Me here

THE MONOTONES

The Monotones are a must-listen if you are a fan of rock. Consisting of Seungwoo Cha (lead guitarist), Wookno Choi (drummer), Joe Hun (vocals) and Seonhyung Hah (base), the members of The Monotones have been key figures in the Korean indie music movement way before the band was formed. While maintaining their ‘tone’ as a rock band, their debut album ‘Into the Night’ combines different genres like punk, rockabilly, and modern rock. After the album was released, it didn’t take long to earn the public’s recognition and soon after winning ‘Best Rock Album’ at the Korea Music Awards 2016.

If you like The Smiths or Liam Gallagher, listen to The Monotones here

GONNE CHOI

The indie-acoustic group Gonne Choi band consist of Gonne Choi (vocal, acoustic guitar), Hyunwoo Hwang (bass, guitar), Sangheum Park (guitar, bass), Soyung Choo (violin) and Sangyong Min (drums). Gonne Choi’s music style comes from the numerous musical experiences throughout her childhood. From learning the traditional Korean instrument ‘Ga-ya-geum’, to training in ‘Pansori’, a genre of Korean musical storytelling, and later being a vocalist in a hard-core rock band, these experiences allow Gonne Choi and her band to mix the musical genres of rock, folk, contemporary and classical Korean which switching in between Korean and English lyrics. They will be playing at this year's K-Music Showcase on 10th May at Rich Mix, Brighton's Great Escape Festival and Liverpool Sound City

If you enjoy Kate Bush or Imogen Heap, listen to Gonne Choi here

LAYBRICKS

Kwangmin Seo (vocal, guitar) and Hyejin Yoo (vocal, guitar) form the colour pop, alternative-indie rock band Laybricks. Formed in the spring of 2015, Laybricks take their inspiration from British alternative-rock and the mood they feel around them in their daily lives. Catering to a global audience, Laybricks are known for their audience involved, edgy and adrenaline fuelled performances that are filled with upbeat songs.

If you enjoy Coldplay or Keane, listen to Laybricks here

DEAD BUTTONS

Indie music veterans Jihyun Hong (guitarist, vocalist) and Kanghee Lee (drummer, vocalist) form the Rock ‘n’ Roll band Dead Buttons. Both previously playing in bands before the formation of Dead Buttons including hardcore band Combative Post (Jihyun) and garage, psych-rock band The Infamous Orchestra (Kanghee), the two first met in military service and soon after Dead Buttons was formed. Originally starting out as garage/punk, Dead Buttons expended their sound with a mixture of psychedelic, rock and blues.

If you enjoy The Stooges or Iggy Pop, listen to Dead Buttons here

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