Based out of New Zealand but sharing Korean heritage, Carl Ruwhiu and Yery Cho of the duo, imugi 이무기, and rapper Hans. amalgamate synth-pop, groovy R&B, house, and laid-back hip-hop in their track, “Swimming.”
From the jump, Hans. grabs your attention with his gravelly tone and cool delivery as his vocals come in over an immediately infectious house beat. Despite the distinctive qualities, his nonchalant vocals blend seamlessly into Yery’s, which lean into a more dreamy soundscape. Together, they flow and groove through carefully structured lyrics, even as they incorporate lines written in Korean.
The writing matches the laid-back energy of the production as they sing a personal manifesto built around being like water and “[keeping their] peace,” with the ability to adapt to whatever circumstances they may find themselves in. In Korean, Hans. muses “찐따면 찐따 왕따면 왕따,” which loosely translates to “losers will be losers, outcasts will be outcasts.” Yery delivers a similar carefree sentiment in her lyric, “바보면 바보로 살아,” translating to “if you’re an idiot, be an idiot,” further cementing their statement that it’s pointless to fixate on what others think, and advocating for the action of being present and experiencing the highs and lows of each moment.
The Kiwi-Korean trio have nowhere to go but up, already working their way up festival line-ups as well as into radio-legend Zane Lowe’s line of sight. Make sure you’re early to the party. “Swimming” is available to stream on all platforms, along with the remix album of imugi 이무기’s sophomore EP, “Dragonfruit.”