Korean acoustic reggae isn’t exactly something I (or probably anybody) knew existed, much less sought out, but every once in a while following distribution YouTube channels proves worth it.
Back in May, ACOUSOLJAH and their song “Danbee” was thankfully dropped into my feed, as it provided a catchy breath of fresh air.
“Danbee” establishes itself from the get go thanks to plucked acoustic guitar that almost sounds like a gayageum, which is later joined by a relaxed beat and guitar strums to create a chill, pleasant kind of soundscape. Perhaps just as remarkable about the setting is that the duo didn’t do anything overly cringe and generally stayed in their lane (from what I can tell), with the music video just helping to showcase the mood they were looking to set.
The vocals stand out as a welcome and necessary addition, providing the rhythmic delivery one expects from the genre, using both the singing and chanting as an instrument in itself and helping to enhance the simple foundation throughout. While elements like the hook can feel repetitive, it’s the vocals that help avoid it bogging down.
ACOUSOLJAH are definitely a group on my radar now and hopefully they continue down this path because “Danbee” was refreshing melodic treat. Even if not an attention-grabbing pop hit, it’s the kind of track that’s easily recognizable in a playlist and always pleasant enough to groove along with for three minutes.