The duo Naru and Parksol are relatively new to the indie world, with their debut album released last summer, but they have already received accolades in the local music scene as well as in the media.
Their first album carried an eclectic mix of indie, pop, rock and alternative jams that hook listeners instantly. Reminding the listeners of British artists of the 1990s, their music is a breath of fresh air from the typical sounds of Hongdae. The lyrics, surprisingly, are all in English with the exception of their eighth track, “Miro.”
|The Solutions(Happy Robot Records)|
“We wanted to be different from other bands. We wanted to try something others rarely attempt to do,” said Parksol, the band’s vocalist. “Our songs incorporate lots of characteristics of Brit pop,” he said.
Lead singer Parksol and guitarist Naru both pursued solo projects before teaming up as The Solutions. Naru released two albums, “Jaga Dangchak” in 2008 and “Yet” in 2010, in which he delivered songs with a modern rock vibe. A talented music producer and singer-songwriter, he had collaborated with several artists before joining up as a duo.
Parksol was already a famous singer in the indie scene. In 2010 he released his record “The Song Is You,” a sublime album of eight tracks mostly about love that invigorates his mellow voice.
“I had known about him (pointing at Naru), but when I actually met him, I realized we had the same tastes. We joked around that we needed to team up, and here we are,” said Parksol with a laugh.
The two fit together so well that it is hard to believe they sang separately for several years. Their album “The Solutions” mixes Naru’s synth-funk with Parksol’s powerful vocals. Throughout the 11 tracks, Park shows off a far superior voice compared to his former creation “The Song Is You.” Although his accent might be off-putting to some, he rocks hard with contagious mid-tempo groove to make up for it.
“It doesn’t take too long to make a track. We just play around, pop in some ideas, and in two days we have the results,” said Naru.
The album brings back the Brit-pop genre that dominated the early 1990s. The ethereal, noisy style is characterized by guitar-driven and catchy pop-based melodies, while also displaying the influence of modern electronics.
The album’s first two tracks, “Sounds of The Universe” and “Talk, Dance, Party For Love,” carry a constant psychedelic theme. Tracks “Lines” and “Silence” are a strong representation of The Solutions’ style. “Silence” starts off fragile, then with a sudden roar it takes off completely with loud anthems before dropping back down to nothing at the end.
The Solutions have taken their favorite genres and spiked them with something of their own. Their potency lies in their ability to call upon the nostalgia for the Brit pop that used to wield great influence in Korea’s music scene.
Meanwhile, the duo will hold their third concert, The Solutions Concert TDPL on May 11 at KT&G Sangsang Madang. They will also participate in the Ansan Valley Rock Festival in July.
By Bae Soo-min, Intern Reporter