More to Korea than K-pop

More to Korea than K-pop

With their latest album Sunshines, Korean band Winterplay prove music shouldn't be pigeonholed. The quartet are unusual in their country, and Asia as a whole, for fusing jazz with pop and lounge music.

Winterplay's tunes are a mix of trumpet, acoustic bass and electric and steel guitars. The result is a dreamy, old-fashioned vibe reminiscent of US acoustic jazz fusion supergroup Trio!

Gypsy Girl is the best of a great bunch. Trumpeter Juhan Lee (Lee Joo-han) translated the Korean pop song into English. The fast guitar melodies and bouncy trumpet notes evoke images of swirling Romany dancers.

The band also offer their spin on Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. Cover versions are always risky business: if you're just going to re-record a classic, you might as well just play the original. But Winterplay have created an unexpected jazz version. Haewon's (Moon Hye-won's) distinctive vocals bring an elegant presence and eliminate the need for funky dance moves.

Sunshines also features romantic ballads. On Sunday is a melancholy, very personal song with only an acoustic guitar alongside Moon's vocals.

Sunshines is a delightful listen for a lazy Sunday afternoon and proof that the Korean music scene has more to offer than mainstream dance-pop.

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