One of the names still dear to me from when I first got into Korean indie music is Julia Hart. Their first album, 가벼운 숨결, was released early 2001 and more than 8 years later they still know how to deliver that perfectly lovely sound. Sunkyeol‘s Kyoungmo Kim, once a member of the band himself, put me in contact with Bobby Chung who agreed to answer a few basic questions for Indieful ROK:
Who is Julia Hart?
The name JH came from American film The Wedding Singer. It’s a silly but lovely movie (yeah, Adam Sandler film). It’s not the Roger Ebert kind of classic film, but worth take a look.
The band JH are currently three : Bobby Chung (정바비) on vocal/guitars, Moogon Song (송무곤) on guitars, Jooshik Chung (정주식) on bass guitar. I also like the idea of a Korean guys’ band having the name of a foreign girl.
How would you describe the music of Julia Hart?
We’ve been trying different things on each of the four regular albums, but basically it’s simple guitar pop sound with nice melodies and harmonies. Lyrics are a very important part of our music as well.
My mother always tells me that I should write more songs about happiness. Songs that make people feel better. But sometimes ‘happy songs’ are treated just as light as tissue papers and many people seem to forget their real values. Delicately written happy songs can make you so depressed at the same time. When I listen to The Dixie Cups‘ Chapel of Love, which is about a soon-to-be-married couple, I feel an indescribable downward emotion. It’s beyond description, but I hope it could be the same thing my mother told me when she said ‘happiness’ cause she certainly knows a lot more about sophisticated human feelings than me. I hope listeners get a little bit happier than before listening to our music.
You recently released a digital single, what can you tell us about it?
At first, it became digital format because we wanted to let people hear our new songs as soon as possible. Two years hiatus seemed so long to us. No idea how an artist like Osoyoung could possibly wait something like 8 years to release another full-length. With all due respect, I can’t. Visit her website and your heart’s gonna break. It’s like around every year’s ends “Again, not this year…” Oh, I simply can’t.
There are two tracks on our digital single. 돌아와 means “Come Back” and it’s about begging his or her ex to come back. I wanted to write Getcha Back (by The Beach Boys) kind of silly reunion anthem : “I leave her, and you leave him. Then we, baby, get it back again” made me snicker literally every time.
한국소녀의 겨울 is roughly translated as “Korean Girls’ Winter”. It’s about a Japanese boy flying to Seoul in winter to see his pen pal, a Korean girl. I came up with this title when I encountered Lamp‘s song 日本少年の夏 (means Japanese Boys’ Summer). Whenever winter comes around, I’m kind of impressed how the season is similar to Korean girls. Visit Korea in winter.
Can we expect something new on CD too soon?
We have lots of new songs and are working on them. But we don’t have any concrete plan about new album. Hopefully next spring!
Both songs from the digital single can be sampled at MySpace. If that is any indication of what that next Julia Hart album will sound like, I’m sure it’ll be one of next year’s very best pop albums.