Interview: Through Love With Hyukoh
The South Korean indie rockers first ever Australian interview!
Mad Love 6m

Far from the dizzying lights and bombastic sounds of K-pop lies an indie music scene simmering with young artists. Armed with an affinity for the experimental, alternative mindsets, and nothing-to-lose attitudes, this new generation of creatives are ready to shape the artistic identity of Korea.

Some might argue that it all started with the band Hyukoh. 

Hyukoh has risen from humble beginnings to becoming one of Korea’s most vital acts, since their 2014 debut, they have created a sonic identity that is hard to pin down. Chart-climbing tracks like Comes and Goes and Wi Ing Wi Ing reverberate with fuzzy 90’s inspired guitar riffs, while others like the heartbreaking Tomboy, burst with stadium level catharsis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECMc1SB60E0

Comes and Goes (와리가리), from their EP 22 (2015)

It’s easy to see why so many Korean music fans have gravitated towards their effortlessly charming auras. Korea and its music industry is known to value conformity and perfection, and in this context, Hyukoh exists as an anomaly. With nonchalant demeanours and a penchant for the avant-garde, the Seoul-based rockers have embodied the anxieties and disillusionment of youth. Just a mere glance/listen of Hyukoh and you get the impression they’d rather smoke a cigarette and sing songs of heartache than smile for cameras through mannequin-esque makeup. Music fans the world over seem to be taking notice with a slew of international tours, festival spots, and even a billing on Coachella.

After a brief break, the boys are back with their latest and most refined effort to date, Through Love. Continuing from their 2018 release 24: How to find true love and happiness, Hyukoh continues their contemplative exploration of pursuing and accepting love, in all the myriad of ways it presents itself. We caught up with the boys for their first ever Australian interview, to talk about the creation of Through Love, what it means to tour internationally, and the chances of seeing them down under – our fingers are crossed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBpdUClwDpw&t=1129s

 

Congratulations on the release of through love! How does it feel for it to finally be out?

HYUNJAE: Felt relieved

OHHYUK: I had mixed feelings.

How did recording in the UK influence the sound of through love? Were you listening to any specific bands during this process?

OHHYUK: We did recording at Real World Studios, conceived by Peter Gabriel. The studio has a huge collection of vintage and modern audio equipment. We were able to try various vintage equipment and decide what to use after testing every sound that these vintage equipment could make.

DONGGEON: There was some music that I listened while getting rest.

OHHYUK: We pursued to have analogue texture in the sound in modern ways. But there is no music that we referred to while recording the music.

Your last release 24: How to find true love and happiness explored the pursuit of love and self-fulfilment. What inspired you to continue this idea with through love?

OHHYUK: In conceptual points, ‘through love’ has derived from ’24: How to find true love and happiness’. In the previous album, we were asking a broad question; ‘how to find love and happiness’. This time in ‘through love’, I believe it’s more of a direct question of how to. It started with an attitude to see everything with love. 

In the last few years, you have toured extensively abroad, with even an appearance at 2019’s Coachella. How does it feel seeing international audiences react to your music?

OHHYUK: I felt good. I saw hope and possibility.

HYUNJAE: Yes, really enjoyed it. I want to have more shows and to meet more audiences around the world.

Do you have a message for your Australian fans? Can we expect a tour down under any time soon?

OHHYUK: I really want to go to Australia. I’ve never been there but I know that many good artists are from Australia and I heard Australia is a really good place. I wish I could go there and perform in the near future.

HYUNJAE: Also we pray for everyone in Australia suffering. Hope spring comes soon.


Thanks again to the good people at The Orchard for putting this together! Huge shout out to Hyukoh and their team, their latest release through love is out now! Have a listen below!

Follow @hyukohoffical  , Find more details on Hyukoh here.

Words by Andrew Yee February 11, 2020
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