It's always a good sign when you're not exactly sure which category a particular piece of music falls into.
"Halang Halang," the new single released Monday by South Korean indie group Soul Paper and featuring vocalist Joo Ye In, has way too funky a beat to be folk, but includes too many passages of subdued piano and acoustic guitar to be considered a straight-ahead dance song.
You certainly can't call it electric pop, as nearly all of the sounds appear to be made the old fashioned way--with people playing instruments in front of a microphone. And though the drums sound like a mixture of both organic and programmed sounds, the spirit is stripped down and raw.
Like Outkast's "Hey Ya!" or the Beastie Boys song "Super Disco Breakin'" before it, the rhythm on "Halang Halang" might be comprised of a drum loop but it has the heart and soul of a living, breathing drummer. And speaking of "Hey Ya!" Soul Paper's latest offering is reminiscent of the Hotlanta duo's 2003 mammoth hit for another reason, the highly infectious and anthemic chorus.
I'm not 100 percent sure what type of Halang Joo is singing about in the chorus, but that doesn't mean I'm not singing along.
Her vocal style is original and the perfect cool complement to the slinky, almost cinematic musical backing. With the strings slinking into the speakers and the slow, somber burn of Joo's vocals drawing you in, "Halang Halang" would be the perfect opening to a noir-ish spy thriller.
But even without any high-budget visuals to go along with it, Soul Paper's "Halang Halang" takes you on a journey.
Listen to the new single from South Korean indie band Soul Paper "Halang Halang" featuring Joo Ye In RIGHT HERE