[Year-End Special] #16: 김예림 (Lim Kim) – Awoo

“한 잔 두 잔 세 잔 술이 들어가고 / 감춰둔 꼬리를 흔들”

Lim Kim liked her folk so I initially thought her next release would be along those lines too. How pleasantly wrong I was. Teaming up with Primary and Suran was a brilliant idea as it allowed for the birth of “Awoo”, the trippy, whimsical A-side that captured the hearts of pretentious hipsters before f(x) came back.

A song this “hipster” of course gained some critical acclaim from the international music snobs association and for good reason. I don’t know what the hell “future pop” is but all I know is that this kind of sound is like crack to English music critics online, me included. “Awoo” is what 10 year-old me would imagine the cool kids would be listening to as they drank their beer in brown paper bags at school and flirt with every thing that moves within a mile radius of them.

Fast-forward a decade or so and I still am not part of those “cool kids” but I suppose I can at least listen to cool kid music. “Awoo” is trippy, tempered by hollow hip hop beats and coupled nicely with Lim Kim’s unique vocals. Lim Kim would be the last solo artist I would expect to release a banger but I think she did just that this year with “Awoo”.

The song never feels like it is on its two feet as there is always something a little off about the song but the buzz is what is so addicting about alcohol. It may be the understated nature of the entire release. From the MV to the song, everything is more impactful and mysterious because there is less of it. The silence and sparseness is the tail Lim Kim sings about of the release.

Sure, the soundscape may feel hollow and empty at times but if music can be likened to cooking or art, “Awoo” uses its negative space well. It’s just enough sounds that it doesn’t sound overwhelming and also so that the individual flavors of the song stand out. And when the song hits that magical chorus, the song’s hidden tail is revealed.

Honorable Mentions: 알면 다쳐 | A- | Hand claps, electronic flourishes, hip hop beats, and Lim Kim’s soft vocals create a banger that is more closer to home for Kim.

No More | B+ | Lim Kim is more back in her old territory. Catchy inflections and soft vocals by Kim buoyed by jazzy and upbeat instrumentals. 

Final Rating: A | A fluttery trip of a listen. Very future. Much pop. All good stuff. Suran and Primary knocked it out of the park with this one for sure. 

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