A hazy day at the beach captured in polaroids. There is sense of the familiar rolling through “Old Town” by Say Sue Me as it’s dreamy indie beach pop exposes the positives and negatives about growing up in a too-often-forgotten locale. And a restless energy propels the track forward.
Hand claps and infectious guitar riffs fill the distorted air, as singer Sumi Choi discusses the band’s hometown of Busan – the second largest city in South Korea – and her desire to leave it. Every indie rock band wants to move onto the next bigger market, whether that means moving from Philadelphia to New York, Nottingham to London, or Busan to Seoul – big cities have a gravity that pulls artists. Say Sue Me feels this magnetism throughout the track, but they aren’t forgetting the beautiful moments they’ve experienced.
The band explores these universal tensions throughout “Old Town”. They are fed up with home, and want to grow and take a shot at the big time. But those memories and familiarity still linger like a late summer breeze. They are reminiscing by the sea while the uncontrollable desire for more bubbles up within.
Sumi Choi gave an example of these feelings:
“Busan is the second largest city in Korea, but everything revolves around Seoul, so of course, the underground music scene in Busan suffers a bit. Although the scene has been around for a while, compared to Seoul, there are fewer venues and promoters, and smaller audiences. Nevertheless, there are a lot of bands working hard and making their own music, and we’re one of them.
“Because audiences willing to pay admission can be counted on your fingers, we often play for free at bars where there are drunk people ready to dance to any music they hear. We used to play while getting drunk because the bar would offer us free beer and we couldn’t refuse it.
“Our guitarist, Byungyu doesn’t enjoy drinking alcohol, but one night in 2013 in a bar called Basement where we play most often while we were waiting for our turn to play, the rest of us were drinking so much that our performance got messy and Byungyu threw down his guitar and made us stop playing. Actually, the song “Sorry That I’m Drunk” from our first album was made with that night in mind. It would be hard to have a situation like that occur if we were in Seoul. We hope we don’t do this kind of thing again, but a masterpiece was born from it, and Busan is a lovely city.”
For it’s honest description of universally understood tensions and beautiful depiction of their city by the sea, we give “Old Town” by Say Sue Me 34 out of 37 lazy days spent drinking by the water.
HURRY – LISTEN – SAY SUE ME