After last year’s outstanding Spring EP, Korean folk-pop siblings Akdong Musician started off 2017 with their second seasonally themed album, Winter. The album was released on Jan. 3, and preceded by a 22-minute film, Spring of Winter, on Jan. 1.
In the short film, the duo (Lee Chanhyuk and Lee Suhyun, playing themselves), argue and disband Akdong Musician (spoiler: they get back together). Samples of the music from Winter act as the soundtrack to the sweet video; songs like the bouncing “Play Ugly” and the sentimental “Live” reveal the mindset of the pair as they explore their brother-sister dynamic and new relationships in the musical-style video. While Akdong Musician has released several plot-based music videos, Spring of Winter is the first lengthy video project from the band since they released their first album, Play, in 2014.
All songs on Winter feature both siblings, and were written by Chanhyuk, the older of the two. The eight tracks draw on Akdong Musician’s life and career since they rose to fame after appearing on a Korean star search reality show in 2012. The songs candidly describe everyday experiences and reflect on the pair’s continued growth as young adults (big brother Chanhyuk is only 20 while Suhyun is 17). Like their previous albums, Winter forgoes heavy electronic sounds in favor of quirky rhythms, idiosyncratic raps, and sentimental melodies dominated by Suhyun’s evocative vocals.
Along with the short film, Akdong Musician also released a music video for the tender single “Last Goodbye.” The song is one of two dual singles off of Winter, along with the playful, childlike “Reality,” which uses a variety of sound effects to paint an audio picture of the pair’s world. Watch the video for “Last Goodbye” below.