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Our Favorite Korean Indie Songs of 2012

January 7, 2013


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So, yesterday we talked about our favorite Kpop songs of 2012. But we didn’t talk about any indie music on that list, which is what this list is for! In fact, a lot of the songs on this list we liked more than the songs on yesterday’s list. There are some totally phenomenally rocking songs that we’ve totally abused in our iTunes. So, we’d like to share them with you here as well.

Also, we’re really starting to rethink the ways that we consume music. Some of these songs we’ll have higher play counts on our iTunes than other Kpop songs that we love, but that’s not necessarily because we like those songs more. I think because we live in Korea, when you walk on the streets in a busy area you’ll hear Kpop played everywhere outside of stores. So, if you’re out for a couple of hours and hear Super Junior a few times, you won’t really feel the urge to listen to it at home, right? Our iTunes will have low playcounts for songs that we like, simply because we hear them everywhere else. I just thought I’d get that out there, because some people see our Last.fm page and ask us “Y U NO PLAY ____ U PHONIES!” So…that’s why!

Otherwise, back to the songs: we’re all about supporting artists and their work, so we made a list of the songs we talked about in this video and links to buying them on iTunes. I know some people think iTunes is the devil. We don’t know much about it, but what we do know is that it’s one of the easiest ways for people to have access to artists outside of their home country. There are Korean online music shops but FFFFUUUU they’re far too difficult for the non-initiated to use. So, we figure it’s better for people to buy songs on an imperfect service than to not buy their songs at all, no? Also, we’re not sure what’s so bad with iTunes. If anyone wants to let us know, please share!

Neon Bunny “Oh My Prince”

Gogstar “Panic Attack”


Park Ji Yoon “Tree of Life”

Heart Shake “Turtles Swim Surprisingly Fast”

Venus Kim “Exercise”

Glen Check “French Battalion”

THE KOXX “Love Dance”

Superkidd “기분 좋아”

Honorable Mentions:

Telepathy “Techno Shoes”

DJ Glazzi “How We Feel”

Or, if you’d rather just watch the videos on YouTube, we have them embedded in the playlist above, so check them out there!

And, lastly, just like yesterday’s list, I’m sure there are some awesome songs that we totally forgot about that we’d be ashamed of not including if we remembered what those songs were. John Park’s “Falling” was an example of that for yesterday, for which – after people brought it to our attention – we literally shouted out expletives for forgetting. So, please let us know in the comments what Indie songs you loved the most this year, and hopefully we can shout out some more in frustration for not including them. YARGH!



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Korean Indie Playlist


Our Favorite Korean Indie Songs of 2012


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  1. Will there be a Korean indie songs of the year for 2013? :3

    4 years ago
  2. I think people don’t like iTunes, because it’s an Apple company and some people just don’t like Apple. Me? I think Apple is alright; their products are sturdy and that iTunes store is pretty decent. You will never see my walking around with an iDevice, though, because they’re overhyped and overpriced. My Android is not as powerful as an iPhone, but it gets the job done and I don’t have to the hack it just to personalize it. I also think they have too much power in the digital media distribution market with the iTunes, but that’s a story for another blog XD

    5 years ago
  3. I’m not sure if you liked it or not, but Clazzi’s Love & Hate was really good

    5 years ago
  4. 85 comments on an INDIE THREAD!?!?!? Its a New Years MIRACLE!!!!! #SoSad #WhyCantThereBeMore #KIndie4Life

    5 years ago
  5. 822

    Another enjoyable video. Simon and Martina, did you ever make a bad video?

    5 years ago
  6. Is Park Ji Yoon considered indie?
    She was such a huge superstar back in the day with JYP that I can’t see her that way
    Her most famous song is Adult Ceremony which has been covered many many times
    I really like I’m a Man too from her back in the day… days
    I loved the song too and glad she’s doing ballads again but yeah… she’s just such a huge star

    5 years ago
  7. I didnt listen to indie music at all and i didnt know that there is sooo many in korea! thank you for showing me such an amazing music genre!

    5 years ago
    • That link is for the Australian iTunes store and it won’t let me buy from there :( Something about my apple id only being valid for the US itunes store. Is there some magical way I can buy music from the Australian store?

      5 years ago
  8. Love that you guys really liked Neon Bunny’s Oh My Prince! In fact, her entire album is awesome, but this song is just so catchy and the lyrics are just great, reading the translation made me like this song even more (it kind of goes well together with I Don’t Need a Man, I guess).

    5 years ago
  9. AshGray’s KillHeel is killer! I heard about it from you guys too!

    5 years ago
  10. YEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneone

    This video makes me so happy haha! Looks like two of my requests made it into your favourites… and more importantly, YOUR HEARTS *crowd awws*

    We have pretty close to the same taste in music so I`m agreeing you S&M for the most part on this year end review.

    a few that I would have added to this list as my favourites were (in no particular order):

    로로스 – Dream: http://youtu.be/6S7bIDeWbdw
    You guys reviewed it earlier in the year but I got the impression that you werent all impressed as its quite a long and drawn out song. For some reason this song really touches me emotionally almost every time I listen to it. it has such a beautiful opening and a long drawn out build up. One of my favourite songs to listen to first think after a long day at work

    3rd Line Butterfly – Sexy: http://youtu.be/8xz3TwfWDbw
    Another one you guys reviewed. Ive seen this band live a number of times and I just how playful and quirky they are, this video shows exactly that and is also quite a catchy song. Also I kind of have a crush on Sang-ah Nam

    Gate Flowers – Nighty Night: http://youtu.be/QJbMvcfmp8w
    The thing that grabs me the most other than the fact this guy reminds me of Chris Cornell is the PACE of the song. Its just so cool and funky and I can never get sick of listening to it. Another band I’ve seen live in Hongdae a couple times, but havent seen them around lately :(

    Brick Slipper – Time to Ignite: http://youtu.be/UjtFJs2z5_4
    This song came out in December of 2011 so its close enough to being in my year favourites, but honestly I only started listening to Korean indie music this year so its ALL new to me. This song is such an awesome song by an awesome band. They have a great album (self titled) but seemed to have dropped off the face of the planet as Ive been looking around for news on live shows or a new album. If any of you hear anything about them playing Seoul let me know because I hear they are AMAZING live.

    Neon Bunny – Come a little closer: http://youtu.be/aXqo9-uLUAk
    Although the style of “Oh My Prince” is way more my style of music that I listen to, for some reason I liked this song more as I found myself replaying it a lot since the summer. ON ANOTHER NOTE the video for this song is complete bullshit! The first half is fine (and a little boring) but the crap the director put in with paper bag head guys working out was trying so hard to be modernly artistic but to me was pretentious bull crap.

    Love X Stereo – Free Ass : http://youtu.be/zyjPVewUfQ0
    This isnt exactly a family-friendly song even so that they had to blank out the word “SEX” in the song (which seems so silly to me as its so obvious what she’s singing). Next time I see them live I’ll have to ask her the reason for it because it seems be censored by the bands doing. ANYWAys the feel of the songs is so dreamy and cool and I really like her voice. When they play live most of their songs are a lot more up beat and electronic and the girl Yeon-Kyung is super energetic and fun. I was really surprised talking to her that she has FLAWLESS English with little to no accent which leads me to believe she might be a Korean-American

    Muzie – My name is Muzie: http://youtu.be/18sbKCgzqVE
    This is not exactly a song but more of a promotion of an artist about a minute long. By NO means do I actually LIKE this song or artist (as he seems pretty full of himself and pretty much rips of a ton of Michael Jackson moves and style). The reason why Im posting it so you can have a good laugh. Even more funny is the story at the beginning and end of his actual music video (Love At First Sight. http://youtu.be/18sbKCgzqVE ) The song itself is a train wreck and goes on and on for too long. Its trying too hard to be late 80’s early 90’s synth pop but to me i cant stand it. DEFINITELY worth watching the ending though, I laugh every time

    Let me know what you think…

    5 years ago
    • Well obviously all your choices must be good ones, since they’ve made their way into my heart playlists as well. I’m not as big an electronica junkie as you and S&M, but I do enjoy most of the ones you come up with :)

      Only thing though – Free Ass? Really? That’s my least favourite song by them lol…all she does is repeat the same phrase over and over again – one that I thoroughly disagree with :p

      Muzie’s video was funny but the song was not memorable at all. Although you pummeled him to the ground, I’m suprised you listed it at all – I’d prefer UV over him anyday.

      PS. So as to not sound like a wet blanket, I love loooove Neon Bunny, Gate Flowers, 3rd Line Butterfly, and Loro. Haven’t heard of Brick Slipper, and they seem to be a band that’ll sound better live than on recording.

      Btw, what’s with all the Kindie bands singing in English?

      5 years ago
      • The reason why I put Free Ass is because its their only music video and I wanted to talk about them. I really do like the feel and sound of the song, not the lyrics. They have a tons better songs and they are super fun to see live. I put Muzie in there for purely variety reasons, i really really do HATE his music haha, but sometimes its fun to share that too.

        5 years ago
  11. I’ve never been too into indie but I fell in love with Nell’s White Night and Toxic’s Lonely. ^_^

    5 years ago
  12. I was super excited that Ukulele Picnic came out with a new album (Summertime Mele) in the summer. I’ve loved them since I saw them at Jisan Rock Fest. Their previous album was better, but I prefer a more folk-music sound. But that was definitely my favorite.

    5 years ago
  13. This year I’m totally going to get into and listening to K-Indie. I have been missing out on awesome music for soooo long. Where have I been? Under a rock? I’m now totally addicted to K-indie.

    5 years ago
  14. Indie is a bit hit and miss for me, I generally like one of the three songs recommended in the K-crunch Indie playlists.
    That being said, I do have some favourites from this year:
    Nell’s White Night and Verbal Jint’s You Deserve better (though they aren’t really indie, but they were in the playlists :P)
    Toxic – Lonely
    The Knoxx – Take me far from home and Love dance
    and the video that always makes me smile – 홍진영(Hong Jin-Young) – 내사랑(My Love)
    oh and I’m just starting to discover J Rabbit and Neon Bunny :D

    5 years ago
  15. you guise should totally abuse intern leij. include her in your KMM skits and stuff like that lol

    5 years ago
  16. I’ll admit, I don’t usually watch the Indie playlists, the only one I’ve seen being the one with Americano. But after watching this and listening to all of the songs, I will start paying attention to these! I was really surprised by how much I liked these songs (Especially Bulletproof, Love Dance and Tree of Life), and what the hey. I like all types of music, so why not start getting into some K-Indie? Great list, and I hope the amazing music I heard is a sign of good things to come. :)

    5 years ago
  17. Some of the songs you guys mentioned are among my favorites of the year as well, like DJ Clazzi’s How We Feel and Park Ji Yoon’s Tree of Life. Other personal favorites of mine are:

    Handsome People, Woowei Woowei. I actually ended up buying the entire album after just listening to all of the song previews on iTunes. Highly recommended. MV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NJyV0r9734 Album: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/are-you-handsome/id544222836

    Hot Potato, Pillow. Not only a great song, the video really speaks to me as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyhxFblmOpc

    Daybreak, Silly. Loved this song the instant I heard it in the Indie segment and had it on repeat for weeks afterward. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOCO9pior78

    Younha, Run. I have to laugh when the E.T. bike appears, but other than that… :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDm3W5ozED4

    Jung In, Rainy Season. This is actually a 2011 release, but I didn’t discover it until 2012. Jung In has one of my favorite female voices. (Plus I requested it for the Indie segment – how can I leave it off my list of favorites? :p) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7E9cw1OiNw

    Joo Young, From Me To You. I don’t know anything about this artist, so I’m not sure if he qualifies as Indie, but it’s a great song with a music video that I’d love to see reviewed for KMM. That’s not going to happen, haha, but maybe someone will request it for the Indie segment. Hmm, might have to break out my Bane scarf again…

    Honorable Mentions that may or may not be Indie (they all have shamefully low views on YT, though):

    Brick, Blue You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmw6wKzbGAU This one has only 1,000 views! It’s a beautiful song that incorporates orchestra strings. Please give it a listen.

    Toxic, Lonely http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wejUkIwXCkY Starry Night on a guitar! Anybody know anything about this duo?

    Heenain, You’re A Jerk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ8wby3E3ZQ Girl with a distinct voice.

    Kim Tae Woo, When I Look At Myself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMHzaYX5Swg Great MV as well.

    Okay, I just realized that I’ve basically recreated a lot of my YouTube playlist for buried songs on the EYK charts. Simply posting this link would have been much easier: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAXwjTS6aCFqYYSHOeRoCKxX1dR8gOU5r

    EDIT: I forgot Nell! They’re too big to really be considered Indie, but White Night and The Day Before are both favorites of mine. Interesting fact: Did you know that certain members of Nell created some of the songs for Kim Sung Kyu’s (Infinite) solo album? My favorite song off that album is 41 Days, which was written and composed by a member of Nell. 41 Days: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwpcHuKoXuQ

    5 years ago
  18. For me, it would be almost the same :

    Clazzi – How We Feel (DEFINITELY AWESOME) ;
    Neon Bunny – Oh My Prince (also DEFINITELY AWESOME) ;
    Venus Kim – Exercice (it’s such a great song, the video is exactly how you describe it, I like it a lot) ;
    Superkidd – Feel Good (just so great, wasn’t sure at first, but really like it now) ;
    Glen Check – 84 (with all the sound effect indeed, the video is just so great) and French Virgin Party (but i prefer the video of 84) ;
    The Koxx – Take Me Far From Home (I feel like it’s a great song when you can’t stand anything anymore and also to introduce your non-kpop friends to kpop indie) ;
    Handsome People – Woowei Woowei (because it’s always great to dance or “sing” to) ;
    AshGray – Killheel (not so much a fan of the video, but I can say I listen to that song abusively when it was release and I still like it) ;
    Chang Kiha & The Faces – A Twosome (not quite sure if it’s more a 2011 song, but I like it a lot) ;
    Big Phony – I Love Lucy (that song is so soft and sweet, it has a special place in my heart – the video is sooooo great).

    I just dicovered Saza Choi too, he’s really talented, but the music is more KBlues then KIndie, so I don’t know if he would “count” in the list…

    5 years ago
  19. Next year I hope to see some DickPunks in this list. ^3^

    5 years ago
  20. Do people really get judge-y over what you have on your Last.fm page? What kind of douche music nazi does that? You guys are certainly nicer about it than I would be.

    5 years ago
    • Sigh. I’ve seen a lot of them. You’d be amazed at the accusations people come up with against EYK. Most of them just have a grudge from one main event (ie their bias wasn’t reviewed), and then they spend the rest of their time posting complaints about EYK. I don’t care what they say, but I wish they’d keep it to themselves and not spoil the fun for everyone else :(

      5 years ago
  21. My favorite of 2012 was Tarus Orange blossom. The song is pure perfection and the video is really cute.

    5 years ago
  22. Ohh :3 I don’t listen to indie so much, but my favourite indie songs of the year, I think have to be
    Lee Seung Gi – Forest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYwYGy6j76I
    daybreak – Silly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOCO9pior78
    Baek a yeon – Sad song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYaH8EwEg_8

    5 years ago
  23. For whatever reason, my iTunes is vehemently against k-indie songs right now. Oh well, I’ll come back later to see if it wants to cooperate with me. MUST BUY MOAR MUSIC!

    5 years ago
  24. Yeah i am with Simon all the way Neon Bunny is simply one of my favourite artists EVER, especially because i love female vocals so much when it comes to my indie. The list pretty much contains all the artists and tracks you’ve introduced me to the last couple of years and i have downloaded most of their albums when they’re available on itunes and such. I don’t if you tried the album after featuring them in the Indie Playlist once but Mukimukimanmansu’s album is one of my favourites absolutely loved it. Also some of my favourite songs where

    Sentimental Scenery – Genesis
    Trampauline – Love Me Like Nothing’s Happened
    Casker – Wonderful
    10cm – Tonight
    Love X Stereo – Soul City (Seoul City)
    남녀공룡(UNISEXASAURUS)- Dear J

    I hope the Korean Indie playlist is still on the cards for 2013 as its one of my favourite segments you do :D

    5 years ago
    • Congratulations, you’re the first person who has a list of songs that I’ve never heard of :p

      Gotta check them out now!!

      PS. how weird was that Mukimukimanmansu mv?!

      5 years ago
      • BAHA!! I love E.via, but that song is so lame :p

        5 years ago
      • It’s not that big of a deal… I know little other than what’s on EYK.

        I did follow koreanindie.com for a bit but I soon had no time for it. EYK is already very time consuming (in a good way).

        Btw out of those, Love X Stereo is my favourite :D


        5 years ago
        • I KNOW but sadly it was the first song of hers i heard ¬__¬ i think the part after 1.52 were she speeds up told me…ADAM GIVE ANOTHER TRACK A SHOT!!! So i did, her albums not too bad :D

          Its…its…ITS A BIG DEAL TO ME…OKAY!!! haha
          Well for me its just there on my Facebook so whenever i see something that takes my fancy i will just go and explore xD
          Ahhhh awesome Love X Stereo are amazing i am so glad you liked them :)

          5 years ago
  25. Gotta love How We Feel, glad it got honorable mention ^^
    Isn’t this missing Woowei Woowei?

    5 years ago
  26. I think my favorites would be:

    The Koxx – “Take Me Far From Home”

    GogoStar – “Runway” (their female guitarist looks like an anime character :)) )

    Nam Soo Rim – “Drive Me to The Moon”

    Eastern Sidekick – “M/V Making Film (떡 from 1st album [THE FIRST] 2:35″ ver.)”

    TeTe, 테테 – “Blind” ft. Fromm

    Heart Shake – “Turtles Swim Surprinsingly Fast”

    Jambinai – “Time of Extinction” (but that’s not quite indie music…is it?… )

    and of course Dj Clazzi – “How We Feel”

    Would like to include 투개월( but they haven’t got a song out since I don’t know…) and Gukkasten but they aren’t quite the indie type of band (and I didn’t quite like “Montage” but I like most of their songs and they’re totally awesome!! > . . < (you can't explain every little thing you do)

    Love your wall! :)


    5 years ago
  27. My favorites were:
    Hot Potato-Pillow
    Venus Kim-Exercise
    The Koxx-Love Dance
    Handsome People-Woowie Woowie
    Glen Check-French Batallion

    Woowie Woowie was my #1 favorite of 2012 though. Absolutely adore that song. :3 It’s like a sexy party in my ears when I hear that man sing. *_* Must thank whoever suggested it for Indie Sundays. And you guys for bringing it to my attention. ^_^

    5 years ago
  28. You must know how much I love EYK to sit through this video. I have such a pet peeve with people eating, drinking and talking. Unless they are talking about the food they are eating, it makes me grumpy. I guess I grew up learning that you never talk and eat at the same time. But I sat through it because I love you guys. FAPFAPs are different because you are talking about the food.

    5 years ago
  29. Nell? Indie?

    *actually, EYK did talk about both of Nell’s videos in their Indie lists this year. Hmm. I also forgot them because….they just aren’t the first thing I think of when you say ‘indie’, y’know? They’re with Woollim, a big company, and they’re massively popular. But their songs this year were really really good though, especially The Day Before :D

    5 years ago
  30. ARGH!!! I wanted to be the first to comment on this but I was too busy reading manga TT_TT

    lol damn you’ve got all my favourite Indie songs down pat.

    My other favourites are mainly other songs by the same artists that you mentioned, eg Gogostar, Glen Check, and The Koxx. I mean, all their songs are awesome, so yea :p

    But a few others I liked:
    Eniac – Love Again
    Heenain – You’re A Jerk
    Sentimental Scenery – View
    Jambinai – Time of Extinction
    Nam Soo Rim – Drive Me To The Moon
    e.via – Insanity Love
    Daybreak – Silly
    Lumi-L – Popopo
    Guckkasten – Montage
    Hot Potato – Pillow

    And yea, here they are in PLAYLIST MODE: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhZeTp2c040YWe4bS9ihShlLlwihI8ns&feature=mh_lolz

    iTunes: I don’t like Apple in general because 1) they’re expensive 2) they’re exclusive. Mainly the latter – they used to sell iTunes tracks only in AAC (?) which I can’t play on most of my music players. Apple has that annoying feature of making their files only work with Apple programs which only works on Apple devices – so it’s all or nothing?

    Now, however, iTunes allows conversion to mp3, so I’ve started using it. Still don’t like Apple though. I’m poor ohkay. T_T

    *Park Ji Yoon was nominated for Artsy Fartsy, not Brohoho :p
    **So glad you could see Gogostar in the end. I felt so guilty, on behalf of my countrymen, because those AUSTRALIANS hindered you from going to their concert last time xD
    ***Is Susie your first Korean crew member? :D PHOTOS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN

    5 years ago
    • My car stereo can’t play AAC, and that’s my main audio player. I also have MP3-compatible CD players, MP3-playing mobile phones, and old Sony Walkman mp3 players. I actually hardly listen to music on my computer, because I just put on youtube playlists.

      At any rate, I only buy music off iTunes if I want to support the artist, because that’s the only sales they seem to care about these days. Otherwise, I’m a hipster who doesn’t like supporting larger corporate companies like Apple :p

      5 years ago
    • OMO I love Time of Extinction! Jambinai’s traditional sound is unique :D

      5 years ago
    • Thanks for the playlist, omg!!! You’re our fairy indie mother. I hate crapple too, check on AmazonMP3, I was able to find a lot of the songs on there! <33

      5 years ago
    • Hah! Momoiro Heaven, I was having my shoujo fix.

      Have you heard of EYK’s K-Crunch Indie? I heard it’s really good~~ xD Hahahaha. I regularly add the videos they talk about into this list: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL19839F260BD83162&feature=mh_lolz

      But seriously, not all of that first playlist is indie. The second half is Kpop ^^b

      5 years ago
      • Ah, I’m not familiar with that one. I’ll Google it later.

        Yes, that’s how I found the groups I like the most! Since they try not to repeat the groups over and over, though, I’ve tried to find information on them on my own. I’m not even 100% sure what the names of the two girls in J Rabbit are. ;_; It’s hard being an international fan with no knowledge of Korean.

        Ah, my bad. I kind of skimmed over it, since I’m still listening to the rest of the videos in S&M’s playlist.

        5 years ago
  31. Tree of Life was amazing! If it hadn’t been for Nell’s The Day Before, that would’ve been my choice for the artsy fartsy EYKA. As for my favorite song, I would have to go with Daybreak’s Silly for a few reasons. One it was just an awesome, adorable song! Two, the video (despite being in the Mr. Brohoho brick room) was so cute and creative with all the rewind storylines. And three, because this was the song that got me into K-indie and lead me to discover the awesomeness of 10cm and Busker Busker :)

    5 years ago
  32. Simon & Martina, did Lee (sorry, I dont know how to spell her name) work on editing this video this morning when you’re on live streaming? just curious… ^^ sorry (again), out of topic.

    5 years ago
  33. Nic

    Banana milk is my favourite thing about Korea.

    5 years ago
  34. I really loved ALL of these- Coxx and Neon Bunny esp~~ *fangirls* but one of my all time favorites was “안녕” by The Pony~~

    5 years ago
  35. Ah, I included J Rabbit on my list yesterday, because I wasn’t expecting this.

    I don’t listen to a lot of k-indie, because a lot of indie isn’t really done in a style I find enjoyable. But “Happy Things” and “Lullaby of Birdland” by J Rabbit were wonderful songs. I also really loved “Sick Enough to Die” and “A Real Man” with M-tiful. (Second one simply features M-tiful’s Rae Won. Not sure whose song he’s featuring in, though.)

    5 years ago
  36. Guise, I just paused the video to thank you for putting a link to Heartshake’s ‘ Turtles Swim Suprisingly Fast’ OMG. I loved this song the first time I ever heard it and I want to share it with the turtle rescue squad here in Barbados.

    Why yes, we do have a Turtle Rescue Squad. They are amazing. Turtle conservation for the win!

    5 years ago