August 20, 2015
I’m writing this as we’re on the plane back to Korea. In just a couple of hours we’ll be back to our normal lives in Seoul, and though I doubt many people would think of our lives as normal, our time back in our studio will at least be something we’re used to. With he Meet Your Kimchi Tour now over, we can get back to doing what we usually do.
It’s still very fresh to me, though, traveling around Canada and the US for 6 weeks. It’s the longest we’ve ever been away from Korea, the longest we’ve ever been in the US, and the most places we’ve ever been to in the US as well. We shot a couple of videos already, with a few more coming as well, but those videos don’t really capture all of the memories we’ve made on this trip.
This post, though, isn’t about those memories. We’ll share those in a bit. For now, I wanted to share something related to those memories: how I try to remember them. And I do make an effort to make myself remember. I’m cursed with a bad memory, and forget what people tell me very often. Fortunately, though, not all hope is lost, and not all of my experiences will be lost to me in the distance of a few years. I listen to music, lots of new music, as much as possible. If my life is a book, then different music albums dog ear the different events of my life. I try to listen to a new album every week, consciously, to try to build new memories, so that when I go back to that song I can remember where I first heard it. I can remember when Martina drove me back to Frank’s house in Etobicoke when we were dating and Deerhoof’s “Apple O” was playing. I can remember listening to Yo La Tengo’s “The Damage is Done” on the way to our religion class in our last year of university. When an old song plays, I can almost always remember where I was when I first heard the song, so why not try to listen to as many new songs as possible so that, when I’m older, I can jukebox through my life’s events?
And so, I’d like to share the albums that I’m tagging to my memories of our US Tour. Maybe you’ll like some of it, maybe you won’t. But here they are:
Vancouver: Miguel “Wildheart”
I wish I could like this album more than I do. It’s nothing agains the album itself, which fills the void that Frank Ocean has left in me for a while now. This is a great R&B album with lots of stellar tracks. “A Beautiful Exit” is my favourite, but “Coffee” and “What’s Normal Anyway” are both great songs as well. So why don’t I like this album as much as I should, if I’ve said good things about it? Vancouver is where we first landed for our tour. I was jet lagged worse than ever before, and most of my memories of Miguel and Vancouver are shrouded and hazy, apart from a few moments here and there, such as singing with our friend Ryan in the backseat as we talked in Russian accents on our way to our first apartment.
Seattle: Alina Baraz and Galimatias “Urban Flora”
This is probably my favourite album of the trip. Totally right up my alley. I love music you can listen to at night when you’re unwinding from the day and getting ready for bed with a glass of wine. Oh yes. This is that. And the vocals on this are just something else. I love mildly distorted vocals that sound like echoes from the shade. Oh hell I gotta listen to it again now. “Show Me” is phenomenal and easily my favourite song on the album. I love it. Definitely up there for my favourite albums of the year.
San Francisco and LA: Tame Impala “Currents”
Tame Impala’s album is definitely what we listened to the most on this trip, which is a good thing because it’s so good that we couldn’t tear ourselves away from it, but bad because it’s hard to pinpoint one memory that sticks with it in particular. We listened to it as we drove for a bajillion hours. I think what sticks out the most is when we got to LA, and we finally figured out the Airbnb owner’s music system, and then listened to “Let it Happen” as it filled the living room, bedrooms, kitchen, as we walked around the home and looked over all the homes in the valley.
Atlanta: Eloheim “Xanax” and Disclosure “Omen”
Yeah, these are two very different songs for two very different feelings in Atlanta. Eloheim is really down, Disclosure is super pumped. I listened to Elohim on repeat when we were on the plane and just getting into Atlanta. Martina was having a really bad pain week. The flight from LA to Houston dislocated Martina’s elbow, and she couldn’t close her arm, and she was really down, and I was down seeing her both sad and in pain, so this song seemed to fit right with our mood at the time. I haven’t listened to her other stuff, though, because I didn’t want to get into that kind of emotional spiral. Disclosure’s “Omen” was a great help to get out of it, though, and we blared it in the car before and after the event. It’s super fun. Disclosure never lets me down.
New York: Thundercats “Them Changes”
This, unfortunately, is the least played song of our trip, but its baseline really suited my experience of walking around the city a lot (I walked around the city a lot a lot A LOT). Martina went out with her friend Jackie on the first night, and I walked around for 6 hours and did my best to sink into the spirit of the city. This song is good walking music, and just feels like New York walking music, for some reason, but only if you walk jazzy-like. Don’t ask me how that looks. It’s just…it is what it is. This song’s groovy. Hope you like it :D
Chicago: Mac DeMarco “Another One”
WARNING: This video sucks profusely. Press play and don’t watch it. Martina said that the song is totally ruined for her, while before she really liked it. So…be warned :D
Oh do I ever love Mac DeMarco. We really got into him last Spring, and listened to his “Salad Days” album a lot when the weather got warmer and we could drive to work with the windows down. I was super excited that he put out a new album, and even though it’s not as great as the last one in my opinion, I still loved songs like “No Other Heart” and “A Heart Like Hers”, and remember them playing on the Jambox in our bedroom as we did our last bit of packing at the end of our tour.
Toronto: FKA Twigs “In Time”
Now, Toronto wasn’t part of our tour, and so this isn’t really part of our tour music, but we were in Toronto for a week seeing family and recovering from traveling so much. So, this might be cheating, but I still wanted to share this song because now’s my chance!
I’m actually listening to this on the airplane now. Holy smokes do I love this song! The rest of the album doesn’t really do it for me. I got into FKA Twigs last year in the bedroom of our place in Yeoso, and now listen to her whenever we’re driving in the rain. I like her take on R&B, and “In Time” is like her last album, but it’s a lot more complex. A lot more distorted voices, breaks and changes, contrasting between her yelling and whispering almost, all over a glorious R&B beat. Damn. I wish the rest of her EP sounded like this, and less grimey.
Here’s the link. I can’t find the song on its own on YouTube. I can only find it as part of her entire album video. But I’d recommend just listening and not watching the video. It’s a bit odd.
Martina’s Wake Up Album: Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü
Gotta add a couple more albums as special mention but these songs and albums only belong to me, Martina. I listened to Skrillex and Diplo’s album all throughout the trip as a way to get hyped up in the morning when I was feeling super mega exhausted. “Take Ü There” (Feat. Kiesza) and the Missy Elliott Remix of the same song are super fun plus I’m a huge Missy Elliott fan while Simon can’t stand her. BOOO TO SIMON! Also, while I know nothing about 2 Chaniz normally, his track “Febreze” is pretty hilarious. The lyrics are ridiculously awesome. Also, you might hate Justin Bieber (which I don’t) but his “Where Are U Now” track and video is gorgeous and actually quite moving. If you haven’t watched it, you can check it out here.
Martina’s Fav Korean Album: WHOwho “Oh Yeah”
Can’t finish this list without mentioning one of my favourite Korean rock bands, WHOwho. They released a new album this year which has a great summertime feel to it. Lots of catchy hooks and singable moments where you find yourself screaming in the car OOOOOHH OHHH OH OH OH OH OH OHH YEAHHHHH!!! You can pick up the album here and while they don’t have an official video out yet, the have an album release party video out with features their title track.
There you go! Hopefully you like some of the stuff posted here and you’ve have the chance to discover some new music. I’m also hoping that at the end of the year I’ll be able to make another playlist of my favourite albums of the year, which I didn’t get a chance to film last year. There’s lots more music that I love and would love to share. But for now, time to get back to filming in Korea! Let’s go!