k-r&b,  korean,  music,  non-korean

danielions’ top 5 songs of last month – dec ’19

Starting a new series for my favourite songs of the month! This list will not be limited to just Korean music but I’m sure there’ll be a ton of songs from my YouTube channel anyway 🙂

1. wave to earth - light

I lowkey love the k-rock genre. I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea but it hits different on those lonely nights/sadboi hours. I’ve started to collect some Korean modern rock songs for a new playlist, so expect that in the coming months! 

“wave to earth” is a relatively new band comprised of The Poles’ lead singer Daniel Kim, drummer/pianist Dong Q Shin, and photographer/creative designer(?) Seungki Hong. Daniel Kim is a freakin’ beast as he writes the music and lyrics for the songs, as well as plays all other instruments aside from Dong Q Shin’s. Talk about talented. 

If you guys know me at all, you know I love chill tracks. Daniel Kim’s vocals alongside the instrumentals, create a dreamy atmosphere I can’t help but to listen to on repeat.

They JUST released their EP “wave 0.01” on January 2, 2020, but “light” remains my favourite. “wave“, which I also posted on my YouTube channel, is also amazing. “bird” is a little weird but in the best way possible. I’m not crazy about the synth in the intro/outro but I appreciate what they’re trying to do.

Bonus live clip of wave to earth performing “light”.

2. sway bleu - Why You

Here’s a track I had HUGE expectations for. The first time I heard “sway bleu” (formerly known as Sunham) was a feature on “Milky Day – Blur (feat. Sunham)“. Milky Day did a great job with the production on that track but I was instantly hooked on sway bleu’s vocals. I even created an entire playlist ♫ everything will be okay ; underground korean indie (10 songs) around the mood of the song. (Side note: It’s at 266K views – wowww). 

So when I received a submission from sway bleu it took me a good 5 minutes to click play. “Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.” I mumbled to myself as I hovered over the play button. And thankfully it was better than good – it was a fkn banger. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that he wrote and produced the track himself! I have sooo much respect for artists who can produce and sing. True unicorns in the music scene these days. 

Truthfully, I like “Blur” ever so slightly more, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on sway bleu this year! 

3. keshi - blue

Y’all already know I’d include “keshi” on this list! I generally don’t post any non-Korean artists on my channel but I had to make an exception for keshi. In the past 1.5 years he’s quickly become my all-time favourite artist with my all-time favourite song “2 soon” – but that’s a post for another day. 

“blue” is a bit of a departure from keshi’s typical song style but it’s fantastic regardless. Admittedly, it took me a few listens to really appreciate the track as it has more of an acoustic sound compared to the rest of his discography. The acoustic guitar is in the forefront and really shines in this song whereas the instrument usually just another layer in the fantastic beats that keshi makes. 

The lyrics about friends drifting and life changing really hits close to home for me especially during the holiday season. I’ve had a few close friends move across country and literally across the world these past couple of years but they visited during Christmas and it felt so damn good to be reunited again. 

From keshi himself: 

“‘blue’ is a song about missing friends.

A lot of shit happened this year, and I realized that the only thing I really wanted to do was to share it with people who aren’t with me anymore.

It’s not even that we’re far away from each other. We just lose track of keeping in touch because we all have our own lives going on.

The ‘move on with the seasons’ line still kinda guts me when I read it.”

4. LANY - Let Me Know

LANY is an american indie band that I started listening to way back in 2016 when they opened for an “Oh Wonder” concert. The weird thing about this song is that I listened to the album multiple times but always skipped over it – now I absolutely love it. It’s super embarrassing but I rediscovered this song through a youtube video titled “LANY – Let Me Know (Dua lipa relationship)” lmao (for those who care, she supposedly dumped the lead singer, Paul Jason Klein, for her ex…ouch). 

Anyways, “Let Me Know” is now my second favourite song from LANY after “13“. 
This youtube comment perfectly summarizes this song for me:

Fun fact: Paul Jason Klein is also a fan of keshi’s music! According to their instagram stories, they even met up for some songwriting sessions. Collab when?

5. Nodsgn - Blue (feat. Seo Jayeong)

Oh man, Nodsgn (pronounced No Design) has been one of my favourite underground korean artists since the early days of my youtube channel. I posted his song “All I Wanna Do” back on Dec 6, 2016! I’m not sure what he was up to in 2017/2018 (perhaps military service? I recall seeing photos of him in his uniform on Instagram) but I’m sure glad he’s back. He released his song “Loose” while I was in Korea last year and I literally listened to that one song on repeat for two days. I have fond memories of laying on my terribly uncomfortable airbnb bed with this playing in the background.

Like all the other songs on this list, Blue is a pretty chill track. I want to say this common theme is due to the “chilly December weather” or some kinda BS but my youtube channel is basically 90% this kinda music hahah. This song features the indie singer “Seo Jayeong”, whom I desperately wanted to like because I think her voice is so lovely but her solo tracks never really resonated with me. Pairing Nodsgn’s musical style with Seo Jayeong’s voice is the perfect compromise. I’m really happy to see him starting to produce his own beats too. 

What were your top tracks of last month? Let me know in the comments below!