Posted on November 02, 2017


At around this time three years ago, I was studying Korean, Math, English, Social Culture and Ethics really hard, as there wasn’t much time left before the Korean SAT, “Suneung”. My ultimate goal was to get into a university ‘In Seoul’. Now I’m a college student who achieved that goal.

Suneung is an annual event that makes universities and application websites busy across the country. The most frequent search terms in this season are ‘condition management’ and ‘the playlist that you shouldn’t listen to’. The reasoning behind the latter is that certain songs remain in your head with their addictive refrain all day long, preventing you from focusing on studying, even when you’re taking the exam. The day of the exam can end your three years of effort in one of two opposite ways: you might be happy that the long preparation time has finally ended, but you might be so depressed that one tiny mistake can unfairly ruin your whole struggle. You would never want some addictive song to get into your head and bother you.

I am writing this article in the hopes that every student can demonstrate their ability fully on this particular day. If you want to listen to these songs, it’s totally up to you, but I recommend you play this list thousands of times AFTER THE EXAM. No offense to any of this month’s TOP 7 artists!.

* Read Vol 1, 2 + 3 of our Top 7 Series using the links below:

Vol.1: Top 7 Korean Punk Artists (2016)
Vol.2: Top 7 Korean Electronic Artists (2016)
Vol.3: Top 7 Korean SKA/REGGAE Artists

1. Mukimukimanmansu - Andromeda

I have no idea, because I really have no idea. This song feels like it’s made out of no idea. The first time you listen to this you might think, ‘Is it a real song? No way...’. It was a culture shock which freaked me out at first. I didn’t understand a single word, and when I watched their music video, I thought, ‘My god, they hate bugs for real’. If you feel absurdly compelled to replay their live gig several times out of curiosity, you are already under their control. So, every time you see a cockroach, worm, or house centipede, it will remind you of this song.


2. Deli Spice - ChauChau

I think everyone has heard this song at least once. It became famous for being included on the soundtrack of the Korean movie “Who Are You” starring Jo Seung-woo and Lee Na-young, and it was later used in the entertainment program “Infinite Challenge” as background music in the telepathy episode. As the romantic melody flows on, two simple sentences are repeated over and over again: “I hear your voice” and “Though I try so hard to stop this” are the only lyrics. However, these are so powerful that after listening to this song, no matter how much you try, you can never stop the song playing inside you head.


3. 3rd Line Butterfly - Smoke Hot Coffee Refill

A whisper starts silently. Smoke hot coffee refill; the night when you rise instead of the moon. In a different atmosphere, I feel like I’m alone in a thick layer of fog. Then I start wandering inside the beautiful voice of 3rd Line Butterfly. Someone calls me, and I start the journey towards that beckoning voice with blurred vision. It’s an unexpected trip, but you might spend a long time in that mood of natural silence.


4. Lang Lee - Yon Yonson

A voice starts to sing over the clunky sound of a guitar. The lyrics are clunky, too. “My name is Yon Yonson. I work in Wisconsin.” This line comes from an eternal troll in Kurt Vonnegut’s book “Slaughterhouse Five”. It sounds rather random and simple, but these are the unique charms of Lang Lee’s music. Although it’s not sophisticated and it doesn’t feel fully composed, her song sounds sincere and worthwhile. During the psychedelic reverb sound at the end of the song it feels like she’s waving her hands to me, saying, “let’s play together!”


5. Kiha & The Faces - The Moon Is Waxing, Let’s Go

This song is actually the one I would most like to recommend to you on the day before the exam, but unfortunately it’s also the one you shouldn’t listen to before the exam! As I mentioned before, the Suneung day can be both fruitful and miserable. This is the only chance of the year. You have to carry on until the end, even if you want to give up, because you’re almost there. If you let this chance go, you might have to wait another year. Keep going! The moon is waxing in honor of Suneung day, so let’s go. But let’s not listen to this song though. Maybe Kiha will be calling you during the exam...


6. Nametag - BaniBani

Even the intro makes me shake my shoulders and feet. I naturally react to this band’s energy. You might feel you’re doing something wrong if you don’t dance to this outpouring of energy, and as you enjoy their music, you might get a feeling of breaking away. The song’s lyrics consist of the words you may use frequently as a college freshman; so, from this point of view, it seems to be full of freshmen’s aspiration and passion. That’s why I hope you save this song until you enter college and are able to express your ambition with this song.


7. Sogyumo Acacia Band - Love

I first heard this song in the TV series “Age of Youth 2”. They used it when a cute couple who were just starting to date appeared on screen, stimulating all the love cells in single people’s bodies. The song naturally makes you smile, but it’s unclear whether it’s because of the influence of the drama or because of the power of the song, which is addictively cute. Once you hear it, this cuteness never gets out of your head, and each time it stirs up feelings of youth. Also, the comforting atmosphere makes you feel like you’re in a fairy tale, so I think it would be a good choice for those who dream of romance.


Article: Hyemin Kwak
English Translation: Song Hee M. Roh


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