The indie music scene in South Korea is in rude health and making plenty of waves outside of East Asia. Whilst the Kpop phenomenon continues to win global approval , there are admirers aplenty for several Korean indie bands who are winning over Western audiences . Amongst my personal favourites are the bands UhUhBoo Project, The Koxx, Peterpan Complex and Goonamguayeoridingstella.
However, perhaps the biggest Korean indie act currently is Chang Kiha & The Faces. The group’s “retro folk sound” has seen them win critical acclaim as well as collecting numerous music awards and nominations since their debut.
Their unique quirky style makes them pleasantly unclassifiable, but are variously described as folk-inflected rock, or lo-fi alt-folky music with wry, often very funny lyrics.
Even the band name reflects the humour of many of the songs after Chang was nicknamed the “best-looking of the indie scene”. The band comprises of Chang ( the songwriter) on vocals guitar and percussion ( though not all at the same time presumably ), and bassist Jung Joong-yub, guitarist Lee Min-ki, drummer Kim Hyun-ho, and the evr-fragrant backup dancers Mimi Sisters.
Chang’s popularity can be easily traced back to his self-produced debut album from 2008 “Cheap Coffee” [싸구려 커피] which met with incredible fan response. (In particular, the song “달이 차오른다, 가자” “ The Moon is Waxing, Let’s Go “)
“싸구려 커피” (Cheap Coffee)
Cheap Coffee – Chang Kiha & Faces, 싸구려 커피