Posted on January 07, 2016

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Another year has passed in the blink of an eye and 2015 has come and gone. It was a strange year really, with some terrible world events demanding center stage in our collective consciousness. Thankfully, us music lovers have our passion to turn to and help us get through it all. And not all that manufactured pop rubbish, but proper music, made by proper musicians who write their own lyrics, wield guitars, beat on drums, pound the keys, and work up a proper sweat in the live clubs and pubs we call home.

First and foremost, I want to thank the musicians for their music, thanks for putting in all that time and effort writing, nurturing, practising, recording, and performing your wonderful tunes. Thanks for bringing us music that helps lift our spirits when we are down, sees us through the breakups and relieves the stresses of life. Thanks for creating something that helps us remember the good times and gives us an emotional release. The years are so much better, and so much easier to deal, with because of you guys.

2015 has been a great year for music here in Korea. Actually, every year is a good year for music, isn’t it? Every year brings new fodder for our ears and minds to devour. There have been a lot of comings and goings over the last twelve months. We’ve seen bands reunite after a long hiatus from the scene and come back to show us what we’ve been missing. Conversely, plenty of bands have broken up or taken an indefinite break to complete military service, but that’s the way it goes. Albums and EPs were released by well-established acts looking to continue their reign, and new kids on the block hoping to cement their places on the ever-vibrant indie circuit.

Although I’m compiling my ‘Top Releases of 2015,’ I’m personally not a big fan of end-of-year lists. To be honest, I actually detest critics across all fields. So what if a chef trained at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in London? I bet he still can’t make a curry anywhere near as well as the old lady in the small restaurant on the corner, which is what I want. Same with movie critics: so what if some critic doesn’t think so-and-so was the right actor for a movie? She might be my favorite actress, so of course I loved it.

When it comes down to it, who actually cares if someone hates an album because ‘the lyrics are not deep enough,’ because ‘the band moved in a new direction’ or ‘the production has been overdone?’ Someone else loved the new sound and perhaps the lyrics got them through a breakup or some other times of strife. Maybe the minimal production gave it character. As someone committed to the independent music industry, I’m going listen to it myself and make up my own mind, and hopefully so will you. If we didn’t, the industry would sink and we wouldn’t have all this great stuff to listen to. What I am saying is this: at the end of the day, everything you choose to consume is a matter of personal opinion and taste. What I like isn’t going to be what you like. What makes you tick may very well be the same thing that turns me off. Eat at the places YOU like, watch the movies YOU like to see and listen to the music that YOU want to listen to.

With all that said, I’ll move on to my favorite releases of the year, but I honestly I don’t expect you to care what I think. The music you like defines you. Don’t think of me as a critic, because that I am not. Despite having played in several bands and helping to run DoIndie, I really know nothing about critiquing music. What’s more: I’m happy not to know. I’m just a guy who likes music.

These are songs that have influenced me or struck a chord with me in some way in 2015, in no particular order. Check them out, make up your own mind and let us know what YOU think was the best release, we would love to know.

Recommendations from a fellow music fan :


<Dig Out From A Box In The Basement> : DTSQ

Buy Dig Out From A Box In The Basement by DTSQ :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon


<Big Summer Night> : Say Sue Me

Buy Big Summer Night by Say Sue Me :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon

Physical CDs : Yes 24 | Aladin | Kyobo Bookstore (Online) | Hyang Music | Yes Asia (International Delivery)


<We Live By Night> : Electricity Flowing

Buy We Live By Night by Electricity Flowing :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon | Bainil

Physical CDs : Yes 24 | Aladin | Kyobo Bookstore (Online) | Hyang Music | Yes Asia (International Delivery)


<청산 {Blue Mountaun}> : Monoban

Buy Blue Mountain by Monoban :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon

Physical CDs : Yes 24 | Aladin | Kyobo Bookstore (Online) | Hyang Music | Yes Asia (International Delivery)


<Ride With Me> : Table People

Buy Ride With Me by Table People :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon


<Whoami> : Iamnot

Buy Whoami by Iamnot :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon


<Lucky Mistake> : Genius

Buy Lucky Mistake by Genius :

Digital : Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon


<Billy Carter> : Billy Carter

Buy Billy Carter by Billy Carter :

Digital : Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon

Physical CDs : Hyang Music


<오늘부터 {From Today}> : Cogason

Buy From Today by Cogason :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon

Physical CDs : Yes 24 | Aladin | Kyobo Bookstore (Online) | Hyang Music | Yes Asia (International Delivery)


<We Are> : Oops Nice

Buy We Are by Oops Nice :

Digital : iTunes (US) | iTunes (UK) | Monkey3Music | Naver Music | Olleh Music | Bugs | Genie | M-Net | Melon


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