Recently The Black Skirts signed to Tablo‘s fresh underground label HIGHGRND, and “Everything” is their first release with the label. I’ll have to admit, I didn’t know much about the The Black Skirts, so I gave myself a little history lesson.
From my amazing detective work, I deduced that The Black Skirts have taken quite an odd route with their music. To start, they were a one-man band with a very folk-pop sound that easily could be from the early ’00s — look at Noah And The Whale as a comparison. Then, before signing to HIGHGRND, they released “Hollywood“, which in fact, as song is pretty progressive and dead-on trend.
Now I don’t want to shit on anyone’s parade over the “beauty” of their most recent release, but my problem with “Everything” is that it feels like a major step back from “Hollywood”. Better artistry than normal if you just listen to pop? Well yeah, but they aren’t making pop music, and all I could think about when listening to “Everything” after “Hollywood” is whether their sound was slightly ruined by the mentality of going major and having to be trendy. You know, with everyone now wanting to sound bang-on late-80s/early-90s, it seems like they were pushed to cover that sound in the genre rather than let it be an inspiration. As much as I am all for bigger companies creating labels that appeal to underground bands, in my personal experience it seems to end badly and this wasn’t helping my perception.
Korea isn’t lacking for incredible voices or talent, but it seems like the scene is in a time slip with the era imitation. I wanna know where all the Aquilos, Active Childs, and Solomon Greys are. You don’t automatically need to sound like you’ve stepped into a time machine to create the feeling of being in a certain era, as the influence of an era can be dead-on and recognizable while also not just sounding like an imitation or cover.