K-Indie Rock Band HYUKOH
Hyukoh (혁오) is a South Korean indie band. The band was formed in May 2014 and consists of leader, singer, and guitarist Oh Hyuk, bassist Im Dong-geon, guitarist Lim Hyun-jae, and drummer Lee In-woo. Hyukoh has been recognized for their attention to the band’s visual aesthetic, ranging from their music videos to wardrobe choices. The band gained mainstream popularity after taking part in MBC’s Infinity Challenge in 2015. Returning with 24: How To Find True Love and Happiness after one year since their release of 23 in 2017, let’s take a look at the latest EP tracklist and its meaning. Stay tuned and keep scrolling down this Byeol Korea article.
3rd EP 24 How To Find True Love and Happiness
24: How To Find True Love and Happiness tackles grand themes of love, loss of innocence and friendship in HYUKOH’s signature atmospheric and noise-heavy sound. It was released on May 31st, 2018. It follows the success of the band’s first studio album, 23, which was released in April 2017. The album 24 consists of 5 songs the lyrics of which are full of English verses (apart from the second track).
The title represents the band members’ ages —they were all born in the year 1993. Their previous projects have been named after their age 23, 22, and 20.
In a KEYNOTE interview, band frontman, Oh Hyuk said he contemplated what it means to go from youth to adulthood while working on 24 and came to the conclusion that he was starting to say goodbye to his youth and embarking on a new phase of his life as an adult.
- SkyWorld (하늘나라)
- LOVE YA! (Title Track)
- Citizen Kane
- Gang Gang Schiele
- Goodbye Seoul
Oh Hyuk said in an interview that this song was about sharing a cig break with a crush.
Lyrics of Graduation:
“We started staring at the other sides
Dragging cigs like nothing happens now
Rosy cheeks blushing with a nervous smile
All the fears are flushing out the way”
The track “Skyworld,” from the band’s latest album 24: How To Find True Love and Happiness, talks about lost innocence and death to the tempo of a nursery rhyme. Juxtaposed with darker imagery that immediately follows (“sin,” “death”), HYUKOH introduces a more nuanced theme – the loss of innocence.
“하늘나라” roughly translates to “heaven.” HYUKOH described this song as a “lullaby” that aims to rethink the age-old idea that one must do good deeds in order to get to heaven. Rather, the band suggests that one must do good deeds to escape “this hell.”
Lyrics of Skyworld:
“깊은 산속 작은 옹달샘 그 옆에 나
나쁜 마음 한입 베물고 죽어버렸네
긴 또 긴
밤이 날 찾아오면
참지 않을래 눈을 감고
깊은 산속 작은 옹달샘 그 옆에 나
나 덕분에 이제 그 누가 와서 먹나요”
“Next to a deep forest and a little spring, I
Was bitten by sin
When a long night finds me
I don’t want to fight it any longer, with my eyes closed
Next to a deep forest and a little moon, I…
Who will get bitten because of me?”
LOVE YA! is one of the title tracks off of HYUKOH’s 2018 album, 24: How to Find True Love and Happiness. The single is the band’s first love song, and is meant to convey that love is for all. The music video celebrates a diverse range of couples.
Lyrics of LOVE YA!:
“I love ya! I love ya!
I love ya! I love ya!”
The taxi driver is a kind of metaphor representing the one itself, questioning his own life decisions and his journey in finding love and happiness passing by every location as a mission to discover it.
Lyrics of Citizen Kane:
“Hong Kong taxi driver
Perhaps we are missing someone
Living in these matters
Anyhow, we are losing
Hong Kong taxi driver
Honesty from a gold chain
Came back from the pawnshop
Adorn myself to avoid
I feel my agony through you”
Gang Gang Schiele
This song talks about the issues between North Korea and South Korea and everything that this war has brought to the population of both countries. Oh Hyuk tries to explain to the world the feelings that most of the Koreans share after losing friends, relatives, etc. after this conflict.
Oh Hyuk said, “The music video for “Gang Gang Schiele” was not like an ‘official’ video. It was shot in a park around my house. One day, I was just walking, and it seemed like the tunnel just didn’t end. And I thought it would be a good location to shoot something fun for “Gang Gang Schiele,” and yes, it was all one take.”
Lyrics of Gang Gang Schiele:
“Dear my old friends
Who believe in their pray helps the sunrise
It embraces from coast to coast
Pours south to the north
Both ears are covered
“Oh, now you can hear yourself”
You are like that so am I
Stay beautiful through the wall
So sad I can’t say that I’m sad
Talk cheap, smoking bitter
“Goodbye Seoul” is a mildly-enjoyable, stereotypical alternative-themed song.
Lyrics of Goodbye Seoul:
“A lot of thoughts seem to be in sleep
Might see the answer if I stay dazed
Are two years enough to cut this shit?
Seoul and I can’t close our eyes
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you
I’ll miss you”
In an interview, Hyukoh were asked about why their latest album, How to Find True Love and Happiness, is quite dark, to which Oh Hyuk answered, “It is all really simple in a way: I think there is only one and zero in this world. I think every direction is either a one or a zero. In a way, we are all dying or learning and growing. In that sense, because there are only ones or zeros, either/or, I think the dark side is always there for every topic, and I think every single one of us shares and always has those two sides. I think that’s the way we learn.”
Hyukoh has set up their album named after the age since then from EP 20, 22, 24, and also the full album 24. Oh Hyuk said that it would mean that when they look back, it would be a kind of a memoir. “I think it all differs, but for me, putting the corresponding title to age for an album is more of a personal thing. It’s more about keeping a record, keeping an archive, like a memoir. It would mean that when I look back, I would say: ‘Oh, this was the topic or the theme that I thought about at this age.’ And for the people, for the public, I think that age is a certain topic that gets under people’s skin a lot easier.”
Oh Hyuk also said that in a way, (the album is) a diary. There are some that are his experiences, but for some (songs), it is his observation of others of what he sees from people and the world around him. When he writes songs, he decides the lyrics and the language by how they sound with the melody and how they sound with the songs. “To me, the songs that are in 24, the latest album, they just sounded right with English lyrics.”
What do you think of Hyukoh’s EP 24? Please, kindly share your thoughts in the comment section below!