Hallyu Spotlight: 5 Underrated Korean indie music acts to know (and love) in 2024

From dreamy, bedroom pop to groovy R&B tracks, check out music by Wave To Earth and other independent South Korean artists.

Danisha Liang

| April 8, 2024
Wave To Earth
South Korean indie rock band Wave To Earth in 2023. Photo: Justin Shin/Getty Images

At this point, who in the world doesn’t know who Blackpink and BTS are? But the Korean music industry goes beyond the mainstream, beyond those on the forefront of the Hallyu wave.

Here, we’re all about expanding our horizons. So if you’re growing tired of your current playlist, we have a couple of up-and-coming artists that we think would be great additions to your audio arsenal. From dreamy, bedroom pop to groovy R&B tracks, here are some independent South Korean artists to check out (and then recommend to your friends).

1. Wave To Earth

Perhaps the most well-known artist on this list is Wave to Earth. The indie rock band, consisting of members Kim Daniel, Shin Dong-gyu and Cha Soon-jong, made their debut in 2019 and has since been steadily gaining popularity in Korea and abroad for their smooth, mellow sound.

Read more: “Our main focus is not on fame or money”: wave to earth stays grounded despite popularity

From LE SSERAFIM’s Huh Yun-jin’s shoutout to the brand on Instagram to their recent sold-out show in Singapore, Wave to Earth is showing no signs of slowing.

Must Listen: seasons, love, nouvelle vague

2. Dosii

If you’re more of an R&B girl, don’t sleep on Dosii. The musical duo, best known for their old-school city pop discography, produces music that instantly takes you back to a simpler time. The duo is formed by Choi Jong-hyuk and Jeon Ji-hye, who both lend their steady vocals to the band.

Both members of the band are also heavily involved in the composing and songwriting processes for their albums, and you can really hear it in their music.

Must Listen: the one exists in my memory, Chum, overdose

3. Off The Menu

Off The Menu is another band on the rise in the indie Korean music scene. With their sleepy, bedroom-pop tracks, the band has been steadily gaining momentum with their releases, with their most recent drop being Every Point Of View (2023), from October last year.

While the group proudly flaunts their Seoul heritage, Off The Menu has some great English-language tracks too, if you’re looking to switch things up.

Must Listen: No way home, The Wall, Driven Anxiety

4. Meaningful Stone

Kim Ji-min, who goes by the moniker Meaningful Stone, is a soloist in the Korean music scene. Her songs have a funky, dreamy quality to them, and we love that her songs stretch across many different musical genres and styles.

A true chameleon with her voice, Meaningful Stone’s music can accompany you through all your moods. Fun fact: Ji-min also made her first big screen appearance in the film Because I Hate Korea (2023), which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival last year.

Must Listen: Small death, COBALT, The fifth spring

5. Orange Flavored Cigarettes

Our last indie recommendation for you comes in the form of a trio. Orange Flavored Cigarettes’s music is powered by the soothing vocals of Dani, and together with her two bandmates Mini and Gurl, they have created a plethora of funk-driven, psychedelic tracks that are great to groove to.

The group is still very much on the rise, so if you’re one of those audiophiles who love discovering underground artists, consider giving Orange Flavored Cigarettes a listen.

Must Listen: te amo, plastic body, that’s all i want

This article originally appeared on GRAZIA Singapore, your number one destination for the best in fashion, beauty, celebrity and lifestyle in Asia.


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