Meet ADOY, the K-Indie Band With a Dreamlike Sound

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Photo: Pyo Kisik

One of an artist's biggest challenges is building a quintessential sound without sounding redundant. It often takes years for most to find their sonic identity, but ADOY has managed to nail it in their debut album, Vivid. Before ADOY, the four musicians already had their foot in the Korean-indie music door. Juhwan, Zee, Dayoung, and Geunchang met as supporting instrumentalists for other more prominent artists. Originally starting as a side project, ADOY has grown from its humble beginnings to emerge as a forerunner in the Korean indie music scene.  

Capitalizing on the recent DIY resurgence, ADOY recorded their first rough demos in Juhwan's house, an authentic testament to the pre-major label era of "bedroom pop." Their first EP, CATNIP, was released in 2017, and it immediately took the K-indie scene by storm, topping the Korean indie sales chart multiple times. ADOY's debut effort was not only a commercial success but a critical one too, with the EP's lead single  "Grace" earning a nomination for Best Modern Rock Song at the 2018 Korean Music Awards.

Buoyed by the success of their debut EP, the group gained more momentum to produce their next release, which ultimately paved the way for international praise. LOVE, their sophomore EP, was the gateway offering that granted ADOY the opportunity to play at well-known Korean rock festivals and go on their first Asia tour. Following the release of LOVE,  ADOY would release their full-length debut, Vivid,  which features a collaboration with Woo. And while the ensuing lockdowns would certainly force ADOY to put a pause on any immediate plans, it was only a matter of time until the group would embark on their first international tour, playing major shows in Canada and the US throughout 2022.  

Following their two EPs and full-length album, ADOY's latest effort arises in the form of the dreamlike EP, her. Each song on her takes the listener on a unique sonic journey, seamlessly drifting from iridescent '80s dream pop to their trademark "commercial indie." While the first few songs are characteristic of classic dream pop, "NY" plays more into the disco uptick of the '80s, narrating a diverse story of their expansive sonic landscape. ADOY's budding but impressive discography displays their ability to skillfully capture a range of genres and moods while still maintaining a principle sense of cohesion, leaving us begging for more.

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