In 2013, Saram12Saram released their only collection of music, the 5-track EP Raindrop, Cloud, Typhoon and the Sun. Despite being relatively quiet since, the EP still stands up as a dark, moving and occasionally beautiful set of songs.
Despite having only released one EP and one single, Saram12Saram’s uniquely somber style has seen them stand out from the Korean scene. Their understated melancholia lies somewhere between the discordant trip-hop of Portishead, the intimate, glitch-driven indietronica of Postal Service and the ambient nu-gaze of early M83.
Of the many influences layered onto this, the introverted trip-hop sound is most salient, particularly on the acoustic guitar-led track Wind Blows. Here the prominence of Portishead and Radiohead can be felt in full through the rich combination of electric production and the sound of real instruments.
On top of the ambient pads, there’re glitchy percussive sounds and deep distorted bass lines, both of which sound almost industrial. There’re also certain nods to European dance music.
For the track More Story, the band switch from atmospheric melancholy to a more direct emotional outpouring. The track is a fusion of electropop and dream-wave elements. This movement in direction doesn’t diminishes the impact though: dripping in heartfelt delivery this is arguably one of the EP’s standout tracks.
The beautifully whispered vocals convey a powerful sense of intimacy, like lead singer Zieum is whispering her most disturbing secrets into your ears.
As well as the EP, the band have also released a fantastic cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime Moi Non Plus for the fashion brand Heich es Heich.
The male-female duo consists of Zieum, who acts as lead songwriter and vocalist and Eunchurn who arranges, records and produces the music. Toby from LoveXStereo also guests as bassist on the EP.
By Jamie Finn (@jamiefinn2209)
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