KMA2015: Album of the Year

The nominees for the 12th Korean Music Awards were announced last week. I always find it interesting to discover music new to me through the awards, so as I’ve done for the past couple of years I’ll try to dedicate the rest of the month to introducing the artists, albums and songs that have been nominated. Starting today with Album of the Year.


 

9 and the Numbers – 보물섬 (Treasure Island)

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Five years after the release of the celebrated self-titled debut album, and a couple of years after the critically acclaimed EP 유예, 9 and the Numbers returned with second full-length album 보물섬 (Treasure Island) end of November 2014. It was prefaced by 2 digital singles the months prior to the release and also included 2013 single track “높은 마음”. As usual when it comes to 9 and the Numbers, the album was well received among critics.

보물섬 (Treasure Island) is nominated also for Best Modern Rock Album. Additionally, album lead track “숨바꼭질” is nominated both for Song of the Year and Best Modern Rock Song. 9 and the Numbers were previously nominated for Album of the Year in 2011 (9와 숫자들) and 2013 (유예) with nominations in the Modern Rock categories for both albums and songs the same years. The so far only win for 9 and the Numbers came in 2011 for Best Modern Rock Album.

 

Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon – 비밀 (Secret)

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After being independently active as singer-songwriters around Hongdae, Kim Sawol and Kim Haewon came to working together in 2014. The duo successfully crowdfunded joint EP 비밀 (Secret) for a release in September. A month later the EP received wider distribution, also including a single version of “사막 Part 2” that was the song to inspire their collaboration.

비밀 (Secret) is nominated also for Best Folk Album. Additionally, the EP title track is nominated both for Song of the Year and Best Folk Song whereas Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon themselves are nominated for Rookie of the Year.

Learn more about Kim Sawol X Kim Haewon and the EP through their mini-interview with Indieful ROK.

 

Danpyunsun and the Sailors – 동물 (Animal)

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After performing as a solo artist for several years, Hoegidong Danpysun teamed up with other musicians to form Danpyunsun and the Sailors in 2013. The psychedelic folk band released its first full-length album in August 2014, including new titles as well as reinvented versions of songs from Danpyunsun’s solo days. In October the album secured digital distribution both in Korea and with international music services.

동물 (Animal) is nominated also for Best Rock Album. Additionally, album lead track “공 (Ball)” is nominated for Best Rock Song whereas Danpyunsun and the Sailors are nominated for Artist of the Year.

Learn more about Danpyunsun and The Sailors and the album through their mini-interview with Indieful ROK.

 

Loro’s – W.A.N.D.Y

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After a long hiatus prompted in part by military-service, Loro’s returned with the long awaited second full-length album W.A.N.D.Y in October 2014. It came more than 6 years after the band’s first album Pax, with only the 2009 EP Dream(s) in between. The title is the acronym for We Are Not Dead Yet. All members participated in writing and producing the album

W.A.N.D.Y is nominated also for Best Modern Rock Album. Additionally, album lead track “U” is nominated for Best Modern Rock Song. First full-length album Pax earned Loro’s nominations for both Best Modern Rock Album & Song in 2009. The same year Loro’s won Rookie of the Year.

Learn more about Loro’s and the album through their mini-interview with Indieful ROK.

 

Hwaji – Eat

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Originally one half of Radiostarr, Hwaji released his first official solo single in 2009. Since then he’s been frequently featured by other artists, released an EP and an official mixtape. Eat counts as Hwaji’s first full-length album and was released for free online in January 2014. Among 13 tracks it includes the original version of 2013 single “젊은데“, “집에서 따라하지마” featuring the other half of Radiostarr–Young Soul, and “잘 자, 서울” featuring fellow KMA nominee Chaboom. The album can still be downloaded for free from Inplanet’s website.

EAT is nominated also for Best Rap & Hip Hop Album. Additionally, album lead track “말어” is nominated for Best Rap & Hip Hop Song.