‘New Pop’ is the debut full length by Seoul-based electro-pop artist Aseul.
Formerly under the moniker Yukari, her first full length departs from her former dream pop roots and thrusts itself into a new electro-pop niche. While no official reason has been stated to why the name change happened, it can be assumed it was due to a conflict with the Japanese cartoon character of the same name.
Regardless of what she calls herself, listeners of her previous work will be able to find familiarity in these new songs.
‘New Pop’ is engaging almost immediately, not needing much to hook the listener with a hypnotic intro leading into a more pop-friendly tempos. Songs tend to involve layering multiple samples and echoing vocals, but without ever feeling crowded or overdone. Although the album is not something you’d hear pulsing out of an EDM nightclub, the influence of trap, breakbeat and deep house are notable in the beats, whilst never leaving the boundaries of pop music. However, the dream pop element is not completely missing. You will find a more subtle touch in certain songs, or songs like ‘Elephants Mobile’, which sounds like it could have been an unreleased track from her previous album. ‘Fisher’ seems to be the most perfect lovechild between the two sounds with a spooky, yet oddly comforting feel as Aseul’s chants reverberate through.
Overall, the new direction might be an adjustment for those expecting another Yukari album, but even the most resistant will find this album growing on them quickly on the first listen and then falling in love with it with each subsequent play through. No matter how intense ‘New Pop’ can get, it never stops being charming.It’s rare that a full length album feels like it is over too soon for me. ‘New Pop’ is a powerhouse and alone it is proof that the Korean electronic scene is not to be overlooked.