We were still trying to make our way through the epic lineup of artists hitting up Hongdae at the start of the week. So our top 15 list is a bit later than we’d like, but you can still catch a lot of these artists playing this weekend.
I was personally able to catch SsingSsing during their tour in August. From there, the rest of the team fell in love, and want desperately to see them live. SsingSsing is a fusion of Korean folk music, drag show and jazz combined. It’s hard to describe them. It’s easier to just see them perform and enjoy for yourself.
2) Silica Gel
Most of the writers voted in on this one. Silica Gel brings electronic and rock music together in a vibrant and unique way, and their live performance is sure to be excellent.
These guys are bringing back the funk and psychedelica to Korean music, and we love that era of music here on Rock ‘N Seoul.
We spoke to Sons of Tiger for our interview series for the festival, and they also made their way onto this list. We’re still hoping for them to make it to the States, but for now, we hope you can catch them during Zandari this weekend.
5) National Pigeon Unity
I was lucky to catch this dynamic duo during the Zandari opening party last year, and they blew me away. It’s safe to say any night NPU are playing, you should be in attendance.
This powerful female fronted band has taken Japan & Korea on a crazy roller coaster lately, and we can only hope that means we might be next on the list. With light vocals, and deep, heavy guitar riffs, their music is a contradiction that settles into ones ears with ease.
The bluesy, gravelly, and sometimes slightly psychedelic stylings of Lowdown30 have captured our hearts on Rock ‘N Seoul. I happened to be at Zandari the only year the band hasn’t performed for the festival, therefore they’re on my must-see list.
Shoegaze, mathrock, posthardcore, whatever you want to say is the genre for Wings of the Isang, the one thing you can’t say about them is that their music is boring. The intricacies of their sound are mind blowing, often creating tapestries of light and sound while you listen to it. I caught them last year, and will always see them when they play, if I can.
When I first hear Apollo 18, my musical taste shifted dramatically. I became intensely attached to their dreamy rock style, and have followed Daeinn’s progress musically ever since. I was able to find time to see PAKK perform last year, and this year they’ve just come out with a new album, so their set is sure to be intense and memorable.
10) Floating Island
This gentle and dreamy electro-pop-rock band struck a chord with us here on Rock ‘N Seoul. They’re just the type of act we expect to grace the stages of SXSW, so we hope they catch some international attention with their time on the Zandari Festa stage.
Korean rockabilly. It’s not something you expect, but there are a handful of bands doing an excellent job of bringing this unique genre to the shores of Korea. And none do it with quite so much enthusiasm and gusto as the StreetGuns.
12) MC Sniper with Scope Band
If there is one act you simply shouldn’t miss out on at Zandari if you love hip hop and unique performances, it’s this one. I stumbled on MC Sniper last year, and listening to hip hop with a live band is quite the unique experience. He performed Arirang with a young lady playing the Haegum. It was magical. Don’t sleep on this showcase.
We’ll admit it, we got carried away with the Korean coverage of musicians here on the site this year. But we did have our eyes on a few of the foreign acts. One of them was Starcardigan from Russia, who impresses with catchy electronic beats.
14) Julia Dream
The beloved Julia Dream is set to go on indefinite hiatus after this year’s Zandari Festa, so be sure to catch them before you miss your chance! This psychedelic trio has been a fan favorite for years, so it will be sad to see them go.
This band made our interview list as well, bringing a little something new and interesting to the mix. Their blend of blues, r & b, and rock will keep the audience on their toes, and ensure an excellent time is had by all in attendance.
We hope that everyone attending Zandari Festa this year has an excellent and safe experience. Be sure to comment, and share your experience with us if you end up going.
Tickets are still available for purchase at the Xindie ticket booth in the center of Hongdae for the remaining days of the festival.