Sailor Honeymoon: A noisy, loose, and improvised rebellion against South Korea’s manufactured music

Bingkai Karya – Korean punk band Sailor Honeymoon is making waves with their infectious brand of fuzzy punk. The Seoul-based trio burst onto the scene in May last year with their explosive debut single “Cockroach,” which was heralded as an “important arrival” in the vein of The Ramones, Kim Gordon, and Bikini Kill.

Today, the trio is back with “Bad Apple,” a track written about an ugly vibe within the friendship group. The track will form part of the all-girl outfit’s self-titled debut EP, announced today for release May 3rd. The 8-track project was tracked live over a week in London by producer Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche, Shura) and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts, Temples).

“Bad Apple” is accompanied by a surrealist Kim Taeyoung-directed visual starring the band. The band’s intention is to create noisy, loose, and improvised on-the-spot rock music, accompanied by the freedom to say whatever they want to. This unfiltered way of making music is an intentional act of rebellion in a country known for its heavily commercialised pop industry.

“Sailor Honeymoon” was born as a collaboration between photographer Abi Raymaker and techno DJ Zaeeun Shin. Their vision was realised at jams with other friends in a shared practice room where their noisy loose improvisation was charged with chemistry, a small act of rebellion in a country where pop culture encourages artists to be flawless and pristine.

The spontaneity of the project leads Sailor Honeymoon to do things like swapping instruments when jamming and calling all their female fans onstage at shows, earning them a growing reputation in Seoul’s music scene.

On the track, Raymaker says “Bad Apple is about realizing one of your friends is kind of a closeted bigot… thinking back on revealing little comments that make you realize you don’t share values. Not just for yourself but also for the sake of your other friends (who they were always judging) you make the decision to move on from them as a friend.”

The success of “Cockroach” and last year’s debut show in London at The Shacklewell Arms has seen the band booked for Great Escape 2024 as part of the First Fifty.

Sailor Honeymoon is a breath of fresh air in the Korean music scene. Their raw, unfiltered energy and DIY ethic is a welcome antidote to the country’s manufactured pop industry. The band is definitely one to watch in the coming years.


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