One of the main purposes of this blog is introduce city pop listeners to the more modern city pop inspired sounds coming from Korea.
Listening suggestion: with an ice cream cone on the beach
I'm going to start out with the album that most perfectly encapsulates the idea of "chilling on the beach with an ice cream cone." Kim Areum's Ocean Wave.
Here's a 101 briefer on Kim Areum. She's had a long but relatively unknown career! She first started as one-half of the female group EZ'M. After branching solo, her music took on a city pop flavored sound. In 2018 these city pop-inspired sounds became her signature. Since then, she's released a long line of singles and albums all bearing tributes here and there to 80s Japanese city pop. Ocean Wave is her most scaled experimentation with the genre.
Each of Kim Areum's singles and albums bear a distinctly 80's-esque anime look to them, which, lucky for us fans, gives us something extra to look forward to in the releases.
Why I like this album: Sparkly synths and saxophone breaks
What I like most about Ocean Wave is how often it's complimented by sparkly synths (I adore sparkly synths, always a bias-factor for me) and saxophone breaks, and while a lot of city pop is associated with night driving, Ocean Wave is best listened to on day-lit beach drives or with an ice cream cone on the beach. :)
Here's a video from Kim Areum's official YouTube channel (very much worth subscribing to, lots of shiny aesthetic videos):
As the video shows, "Your Summer" is the track to listen to on a coastal 70 mph highway drive by the beach.