If your understanding of K-pop conjures images of high-energy girl groups and pristine pop soloists crafting big, bright hooks and glossy music videos, then your idea of the South Korean music scene isn't totally off. But it doesn't represent the full scale of pop being offered by Korean artists.
As female-led big label acts like Red Velvet and Twice churn out catchy hit after hit, a new wave of emerging women lead the charge for alternative South Korean indie-pop, R&B, and electronica. Flourishing just outside of K-pop's shiny mainstream bubble, independent artists like Yeseo, Neon Bunny, and Brooklyn's Yaeji are shaking up the global perception of what Korean music can sound like.
Below, discover six alternative artists for fans of K-pop.
After getting her start as a keyboardist for rock group The Black Skirts, Neon Bunny—née Lim Yoo-jin—made her solo debut in 2011 with Seoulight, a bright record brimming with breezy, quirky indie-pop. The independent South Korean singer-songwriter and producer expanded her musical palette over the next few years, dabbling in funk-inspired electro-pop (2012’s Happy Ending EP) and subdued, sensual R&B (2015’s “Romance in Seoul”). In 2016, Neon Bunny dropped her sophomore album, Stay Gold, a nine-track LP bursting with moody rhythmic grooves and introspective synth-pop.