Song Review: So!YoON! – Smoke Sprite (ft. RM)

So!YoON! - Smoke Sprite (ft. RM)I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’d never heard of So!YoON! prior to the announcement of this collaboration with BTS’s RM. I don’t follow the Korean indie scene closely, but she seems to have carved out a nice niche both as a soloist and frontwoman of band Se So Neon. From what I can gather, this pairing is the result of mutual fandom/admiration going back six years or so. That’s a pretty cool reason to join forces for a song, and Smoke Sprite is an interesting use of their talents.

I’m not sure I’ve ever written about a song like this on the blog before. It has a much more alternative sound than the glossy K-pop surrounding it, but that’s kind of refreshing. The choices in mixing and effects give it an otherworldly ambience, especially when Soyoon is singing. And rather than follow a traditional K-pop structure, Smoke Sprite feels like one long cry forged into a song. I actually hear a bit of Prince in it – one of his dramatic, psychedelic guitar ballads made more lo-fi.

Driven by distorted guitar, Smoke Sprite moves from languid verses to an explosive chorus that harnesses sharp emotion to offer peaks of catharsis. RM’s verse feels more grounded in tropes we’re used to from the industry, but his delivery has a melodic heft that blurs the lines between singing and rapping. He’s not actually in the song as often as I expected. Instead, this is very much Soyoon’s showcase – as it should be. More ears than ever will be tuned into her music, and this is an appealing introduction for us newbies.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

Grade: B-


11 thoughts on “Song Review: So!YoON! – Smoke Sprite (ft. RM)

  1. This one’s a 9 for me at least. What I crave each year are great songs, yes, but also variety. A perusal of the Billboard charts of yesteryear shows they were mostly populated by novelty tunes of some sort, something leftfield or different from what everyone else was doing. This one qualifies for me, I think it’ll sound great shuffled next to what everyone else is putting out this year.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s the opposite for me! The song was good but it became great when RM joined in – soyoon’s voice is very light and airy and I think RM’s voice really grounded it and made the song sound whole and solid.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So nice to see So yoon and se so neon here! The hold Jayu had on me when it came out.

    This new album itself is a mixed bag for me–too much lofi shoegaze and not enough guitar shredding by Soyoon but great seeing Soyoon making waves 🙂 Her eponymous debut album is much more satisfying.

    BTW, congratulations on 20 million views!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Haven’t heard the new album but So!YoON! also made a nice appearance on Lee Young Ji’s Witch, and also she and Se So Neon did a really fiery cover of PSY’s Bird on Immortal Songs – she lost her glasses!


  4. WOAH….this song is INCREDIBLE. Her voice works so well with the gritty instrumental.


    One thing that could have elevated this song just a little bit is if So!YoON had some ad libs during RM’s part. I feel like the contrast between the 2 voices would have been so good.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. This one is not for me. I think it all depends on if this flavor of indie is for you. Mint choco chip? You bet. Pistachio ice cream, maybe. Birthday cake or cotton candy ice cream, nope.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I first listened to this song, I forgot RM was a feature, so when his part can up, I was like “who the hell is this?” LMAO. It’s the guy I listened to the song for, but I genuinely started liking this song on it’s own. I might check out her other songs now.

    Liked by 1 person

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