I recently began a trial subscription to Apple Music, and I’m happy to share that I’m spending significantly more time listening to K-music than I did last year when majority of my music discovery happened via television variety shows and serendipitous YouTube videos.
I access the service on my phone through the Music app, so it’s extremely convenient. I use the “Recent Releases” feature under K-Pop to look for new music. The order in which recent releases appear seems to be based on a combination of actual release date and popularity, so it’s hard to tell how recent each release is based on its placement on the screen. For instance, Got7’s Fly shows up in the first row next to Twice and Seventeen even though it was released more than a month ago.
There isn’t a way to filter these recent releases by genre or month, so I do really have to scan and scroll down to get a good sense of what’s being released and added to Apple’s catalog. Although it feels like a tedious process, especially when the service keeps lagging or buffering, so far, I’ve been enjoying the process of scrolling down to look at different album arts and stumbling upon new artists.
People and People is one of them. Kim Sa-wol, Oohyo, Park Joon-ha, We Are the Night are others that I have just discovered even though they are not even newcomers. Kim Jung-gyun, also known by his alias Kim Geo-ji, had released an album full of amazing tracks in 2014. I got a kick out of searching up songs that I used to listen to a lot at different points of my life and soaking in the great music.
It’s not just these smaller-label produced musicians that I’ve come to encounter through Apple Music. I listened to a lot of Oh My Girl’s new album Liar Liar, replete with pretty and springy pop. And Block B’s “Toy” – What a great tune.
There are many artists and albums not available in Apple Music. Although not a comprehensive archive, its current catalog is still vast. You can also find playlists curated by Apple and sometimes outside staff. Some of these provide introductions that new listeners of K-music might find useful. I personally have found the playlists consisting of songs nominated for the Korea Music Awards helpful.
I don’t know how other online music services based outside of Korea compare to Apple Music. I had tried Spotify briefly a couple of years ago on a PC and remember listening bands like Rock N Roll Radio there. I don’t know what it’s like now. Amazon Prime didn’t seem to have much K-music when I was on it a few months ago.
Happy listening! Whether it’s through physical devices, downloading or streaming.