There’s a lot that goes into musicians coming together to form a band. There are the countless hours spent rehearsing, personalities, goals, scheduling, and so on and so forth. More often than not, it’s like some sort of hippie commune marriage between folks who are pouring passion like it’s liquid steel. But every once in a while, you catch a band that is cruising through the ice box. They nail it. They are on the money, and you can sit back and enjoy it without even second guessing whether the next note will ring true or not. It’s as if their music flows as easy as breath, and the stage is a shameless page from their diary. In Gwangju, I’ve been lucky enough to see a band with this same combination of both ease and tenacity, and they are happening now.
The Today Tomorrow band is a recently formed group of exceptional musicians. They maintain a sound full of harmony, melody, and an intelligent sense of balance. It is definitely grounded in folk, but the quartet churns out a heavy, smoky, landscape of sound that warms you up and wraps around your skin. The group was just formed four months ago when three friends decided to form a band. Edward Kim (vocals, rhythm guitar), Hyeon-je Choe (bass, lead guitar), and Dong-min (lead guitar). These individuals are all already widely known in the music community for their respective talents. Edward frequently brings hauntingly beautiful songs to the weekly open mics. Hyeon-je is a multi-instrumentalist who not only adds to performances around town, but many times helps shape things sonically behind the soundboard. Dong-min plays in several groups with his organic style of guitar-playing, and also works as an animator for a living. The group was then finalized by Jinseon Yun on vocals.
Edward explains the combination of their intent openly. “We love folk songs, and Jinseon has a great voice for that so when we choose a song, we are thinking about her voice.” There is a very casual sense in their presence. They aren’t there to put on airs, but there is prowess in each of their abilities. Edward and Jinseon’s ability to harmonize and marinate their vocal melodies enriches each song. Many times their songs are slower, but there is plenty of peppering from lead guitar lines provided by Dong-min and Hyeon-je. And when Hyeon-je moves to bass, he adds low-end sustains that hum like a whale’s song from a deep canyon. The energy they create can’t be forced, it’s a natural sway that comes through whether or not the audience is there to catch it. “Our best moments are when we practice and hang out together. That’s it. We are happy when we are together.”
Be sure to catch them soon at Open Space Dreamer’s in Daein Market or one of their upcoming shows around town.