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Stratosphere: ABOUT presents songs about everything you’ll resonate with

Photo Credit: @about_1202 on Instagram

For every emotion and every memory you have lived through in your lives, ABOUT (born Jo Tae-Kyoung) has a song for it. Despite making his official debut only 3 years ago in 2019, he has amassed an extensive discography of songs with various stories for everyone to relate to. He majored in contemporary jazz during his university years and has also named Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, James Blake and Coldplay as some of his major musical influences. Listening to a wide variety of genres has undoubtedly also contributed to the creation of his diverse discography.

ABOUT’s deep voice envelops every track with a certain rich and mellow quality. He also puts thought into crafting each album — from the composition of the song and lyrics themselves to even the formulation of the concept and story behind it. For instance, he began 2022 with a Trilogy EP ‘Empathy’ consisting of the three parts ‘ANGER’, ‘EROS’ and ‘CHILDHOOD’. To convey his earnest feelings while introducing the tracks, he would also usually include a write-up on his Instagram posts in both Korean and English. 

Photo Credit: @about_1202 on Instagram, from left to right: ANGER, EROS, CHILDHOOD

Resonate with ABOUT through the following 3 tracks.

1. Unhappy (Me)

ABOUT croons about the heartache one feels in a toxic relationship in this melancholic piece. Although the lyrics are exactly the same, he also released another version ‘Unhappy (You)’. The difference lies in the instrumental where ‘Unhappy (Me)’ employs heavy use of string instruments while stronger sounds of percussion instruments like cymbals can be heard in ‘Unhappy (You)’. Different versions may appeal to you depending on your preferences.

When we were together
They say I’m the lucky one
But it’s not true
Cause now I’m alone here

2. Ice Cream Man In The Town

Just like how happiness and sadness cannot always be clearly defined, ABOUT brings listeners on a journey to navigate these emotions through his ‘Fortunate Islands’ albums, which are divided into two parts — ‘Pt1. Entrance’ and ‘Pt2. Exit’. As the first track in ‘Pt1. Entrance’, he charms you with its catchy and upbeat rhythms, building your interest in the other tracks. 

The album cover shows a drawing of the frontal view of a person while the one for ‘Pt.2 Exit’ displays the back view of the same person. This detail further enhances the experience of listening to these albums.

Bad dream go away
Good good dream here to stay

3. First Flower

Through this release, he pens down his heartfelt gratitude to fans for brightening and warming his days with their support. Compared to his first single, ‘Wither,’ which was tinged with despondency, this song is hopeful and blossoms as a source of solace for others who may be going through lonely and difficult times.

Hidden deep in my heart
You have a dream, don’t you?
Someday it will start to bloom
We are all flowers

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