Epik High have been a staple in the Korean music scene for as long as I can remember, and their brand of emotive hip-hop has a timeless feel that is immune from trends. Over the past few years, their title tracks have taken on a more melancholic vibe, and that culminates in the downbeat Lovedrunk (술이 달다). It’s their first single since leaving YG Entertainment, and hearkens back to the indie sensibilities that first made them popular.
Now, when you combine melancholy with hip-hop, you’re never going to get something that will set The Bias List on fire. It’s just not what I’m looking for when it comes to music, and there’s little that can be done about that. My favorite Epik High tracks are upbeat and energetic, but that was not the modus operandi for this new mini album. Lovedrunk is incredibly moody, anchored by an impressive feature from go-to chorus-crooner Crush.
The song opens with one of the most gorgeous melodies I’ve heard all year. I kind of wish this segment was Lovedrunk’s chorus, but an over-reliance might have blunted its effect. Instead the track’s hook is more ethereal and subtle, underlined by a bit of guitar that gives it great texture. Unsurprisingly, Lovedrunk’s hip-hop verses are strong, delivered with the kind of passion we’ve come to expect from Epik High. Its atmospheric, piano-and-strings-driven production gets the job done, even if it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. The guys definitely have their niche, and Lovedrunk is another solid addition to their distinctive discography.