Drift Away with Colde’s Wave
Korean hip-hop star and producer Colde released his first solo mini-album on September 13 titled Wave. For fans of the artist or of his indie hip-hop duo offonoff with 0Channel, the project delivers more of Colde’s signature hazy rap while also allowing the singer to branch out into other styles. Like the majority of his previous releases, Wave offers a relaxing, lo-fi auditory experience from start to finish that’s sure to have old and new listeners alike wondering where this album has been all their lives.
The album is made up of eight tracks, two of which include featured artists. Opening track “자유 (Freedom)” is a chill rap track layered over a simple electric guitar riff. The song, which was pre-released before the album, also serves as one of two music videos, the other being for title track “Sunflower,” a song that likens a loved one to the flower of the same name. As a title, “Sunflower” has Colde’s quintessential sound: it’s low-key, it’s groovy, and although it’s lyrically innocent, there’s something inherently erotic in the sound quality. The corresponding video presents much of the same vibe, featuring a vintage filter layered over the visual story of Colde and a girl he’s fallen for. The feelings evoked by the video are reminiscent of a quiet, summer afternoon with the overall tone of the video being very visually muted (with the exception of the ever-present yellow).
Although the aforementioned tracks are admittedly a little similar, the album is rounded out with various beats and styles. “Move” is a little grittier with a heavy beat that sounds like a track that could’ve been released by The Weeknd. Next up, “YAYAYA,” a rap-centered track featuring Omega Sapien, offers an interesting juxtaposition of quick flows and lilting falsettos.
Following “Sunflower,” the next track on the album, “SPACE,” is a personal favorite: the production is somewhat trippy in quality, comprised of electric drum beats and radio-transmitted vocal samples. Mysterious in tone, it sounds like something pulled straight out of Yoko Kanno’s iconic soundtrack to the classic 1990s anime Cowboy Bebop. “SPACE” serves as a great transition into the rest of the album, which takes a turn for the softer side with “Lovestruck,” a simple track that harkens back to Colde’s work with offonoff. Musically, the most intriguing part of this song is the use of harp and piano that weave throughout the bridge and chorus of the song to give it a dreamlike feel.
The song drifts effortlessly into the album’s second title track, “선 (String),” featuring Sunwoo Junga. Compared to the previous tracks, this song is a little more upbeat in tempo and also features a floating electric guitar that pairs well with Junga’s whispy vocals. The last track on the album, “사랑해줘 (Please Love Me)” is the perfect acoustic ending to wrap up the EP. With the focus on Colde’s soft vocals, a lazy acoustic guitar plays over an even lazier drum beat. As the track fades out with the guitar, it feels like the album is almost lulling the listener to sleep before leaving you with an unresolved chord to leave you wanting more. It’s the perfect tactic to have you immediately pressing repeat, which—trust me—is something you will want to do anyways.
One of Colde’s biggest strengths in songwriting lies in his ability to put the listener at ease. Maybe it’s the uncomplicated instrumentation or the soothing tempos, or maybe it’s the poetic tendencies in his lyrics, but with just one listen to this album, you find yourself drifting off to a place where life’s little worries don’t matter quite as much. With Wave, Colde presents listeners with a musical liminal space that also serves as a perfect vehicle to show off his indisputable talents from the first track to the last. Go experience Wave—you won’t regret it.