If you were an “indie kid” of 2000s in South Korea, Byul.org would be the prime bias of your playlist. Their music consisted of gloomy synth pop and ambient/drone, but their method was somewhat special compared to typical indie acts in 2000s. “Monthly Vampire”, six volumes of occasional publication series released from ’01 to ’07, contained magazine and compact disc, and they showed weird and covert characteristic of the band. Cult followers were made, but after the release of the first album, “Secret Stories Heard From A Girl Of An Opium Den” (아편굴처녀가들려준이야기) in 2011 – which actually remastered their older materials – there have been only rare notices about their second album.
The long waiting ends with the release of “Nobody’s Gold” (주인 없는 금). However, it’s not that kind of “loud return” of giant musicians. Rather, “Nobody’s Gold” feels like it has been already there for a long time. Album goes from dark electroacoustic pieces (“The Place Where Designers Go To Die”, “The Night Before The Typhoon”) to lethargic dance music (“Nari Yuko Jin”, “Bean Tale”) and dramatic guitar-driven pop (“Friendly Enemies). And those are all the things Byul.org have made.
So, is it bad? Not at all. The band explain the album contains “the everyday lives and thoughts of band member, friend, and colleague.” Despite its assorted formation, “Nobody’s Gold” is threaded with deeply personal senses we feel in our lives. That is why we can read warm, surreptitious intimacy in this album. (Guwon Jeong)
♪♫ Listen: “The Bats We Are” + album stream
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