It will pass, someday: Gothic ethereality and introspection in RM’s Mono

RM’s second mixtape, Mono, dropped on 23 October 2018 almost two and a half years after the self-titled RM, which was released on 20 March 2015. Mono was accompanied by a music video for the final track “Forever Rain” with lyric videos released for “Seoul” and “Moonchild” on 23 and 24 October respectively. It followed J-Hope’s earlier […]

The Top 5 Gothic KPOP Music Videos

Dr Colette Balmain applies her specialism in Gothic Cinema to the world of KPOP – perfect for the Halloween season… ‘Gothic forces its readers, viewers, and listeners to identify the ghosts that haunt them…’ (Isabella van Elferan, 2012, Gothic Music, p. 15). 1. SHINee “Married to the Music” (2015) “Married to the Music” doesn’t sound […]

E-DO at Rich Mix: a second-hand review

I know I said that SsingSsing was the gig I was most sorry to miss from the K-music festival this year, but E-DO ran it a close second. Their music that supported Over the Moon at the Edinburgh Fringe last year was totally mesmerising, even in the absence of their percussionist who had to return […]

Black String win Songlines Music Award

Congratulations to Korean fusion group Black String, whose debut album on ACT, Mask Dance, won the Songlines Music Award in the Asia and Pacific category. Black String, who played at the 2017 K-music festival, were in town for the awards ceremony in Brixton on 20 October, where they played music from the album.

The end of the journey: desire, recognition and redemption in BTS’s “IDOL”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the culmination of the BTS Love Yourself series: “IDOL” is the lead single from BTS’s final album in the “Love Yourself” series. The series comprises one extended storyworld music video, Love Yourself 起 Wonder; one mini album, Love Yourself 承 Her; one full length album, Love Yourself 轉 Tear; and one […]

The Garden of the Forking Paths: Difference and Repetition in BTS “Epiphany”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the BTS comeback trailer for Love Yourself 結 Answer: “Epiphany” is the comeback trailer for BTS’ last entry in the LOVE YOURSELF Series: Love Yourself 結 Answer. LOVE YOURSELF is a transmedia and multimedia project involving the expansion of the BTS Universe through the construction of a metafictional storyworld established by Music […]

Artistry, Creativity & Emotionality: Choreographies of the self in “Fake Love”

Dr Colette Balmain examines the lead single from BTS’s Love Yourself 轉 Tear: “Fake Love” is the lead single from BTS’ third studio album Love Yourself 轉 Tear (they have also released three Japanese studio albums, two repackages, five EPs and two single albums to date) and follows, both temporally and thematically, the comeback trailer “Singularity” […]

Review: K-music showcase at Rich Mix

The K-music showcase at Rich Mix – now a regular venue for Korean music performances – was timed to take advantage of the many acts in the UK for the various May music festivals. The gig can also be thought of as a teaser event for the K-music festival that takes place in the autumn. […]

Trajectories of Meaning in “Singularity” – the BTS Comeback Trailer: Love Yourself 轉 Tear

Dr Colette Balmain analyses the comeback trailer for BTS’s third studio album: From Serendipity to Singularity: A Universe of Meaning “Singularity” is the comeback trailer for BTS’ third studio or full length album, Love Yourself: Tear which will be released on 18th May 2018. This follows up the mini album or EP, Love Yourself: Her […]

Neverland: Holland’s ground-breaking K-pop debut in context

Dr Colette Balmain discusses the controversial debut MV from Korea’s “first openly gay” KPOP idol. “Never lose self-esteem and be confident” (Holland, 2018) On 22st January 2018, at exactly midnight KST, Holland released his debut single and MV “Neverland”.  Since its release, “Neverland” has racked up over 6 million views on YouTube and Holland has […]