For the most part, I tend to stay away from a lot of the really commercially-successful K-indie music because it almost always falls into one of two categories: folksy, coffee shop acoustic pop, or emo, coffee shop acoustic hip-hop. I do love a few of the big stars of the genre like 10cm and Busker Busker, but usually avoid the ones I see at the top of the charts, so it wasn’t until last week that I finally gave a Lim Kim a chance and was pleasantly surprised to find out that she’s actually kind of really good.
Kim’s first single, “All Right,” is a melancholy number about being trapped in denial after a painful breakup. The restrained production –a gentle but moody mix of drum beats and blobby polka keys– isn’t miles away from the usual K-indie shtick that I mentioned before, but it does offer one big surprise when Kim’s ex-boyfriend makes an unexpected appearance at the halfway mark. He swoops in, his voice digitized and mangled beyond recognition, and wishes Kim well, before disappearing like a ghost, just as quickly as he arrived. It only lasts for a few seconds, but it’s a brilliant little trick that reminds you that Lim Kim has a little more imagination on her side than many of her coffee shop contemporaries.
And then there’s the matter of Kim’s voice: A low, husky, beautiful thing with a surprising amount of versatility and sex appeal when used for the right song — just check out her Marilyn Monroe cover.
Kim’s debut EP, A Voice, has been hugely successful since its release, so we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of her in the near future. I love her current style and wouldn’t complain if she never changed it, but she’s so damn attractive and multi-talented that I’d love to see her do a pop record, something like one of Neon Bunny’s albums, only darker.
Check out “All Right” below, as well my favorite non-single from her EP, “Like You Know It All.”