Ye Ram (예람) : Castle
The singer-songwriter is as varied as any other genre with artists finding their own unique voices with a select number of instruments. Ye Ram‘s own singer-songwriter and folk style remind me of a second-generation Kim Sawol. Interestingly enough, Kim Sawol is expanding and experimenting with her own sound and Ye Ram’s Castle parallels 7102, the two are moving away from each other.
Castle’s 11 songs provide a lot of different perspectives into her music. “Over The Sea” is a safe entry point to me. It’s got a mix between acoustic and electric guitar, a smooth vocal line, and easy to digest melodies. I actually think that “She’s Dancing” is the more engaging start to the album at track two. It does have a “Kim Sawol” style (which is a weird thing to say), but Ye Ram’s vocals live in a warmer vocal register and they sound more comforting than Kim Sawol’s slightly light and wispy delivery. It’s a simple song that doesn’t need a lot of embellishments.
“Take A Taxi In My Dream” provides a full band experience and shows that maybe Ye Ram is needed to be heard in both forms – an acoustic and stripped back performance and live band. The track is able to really expand a lot of the melodies across more instruments and the drums give the song a little more structure too. It’s easy to see “Take A Taxi In My Dream” as a stronger song because there’s more going on, but it’s more of a different perspective.
This continues on “Night In Seoul.” The melancholy tone, combined with Ye Ram’s vocals creates an engaging folk and indie merging. “Red Flowers” follows the full band with a light groove supported with brushes on the drum set. Castle is definitely a great representation of all the different ways Ye Ram can offer her music. “Same Loneliness” is an acoustic guitar lead track with violin in the background offering a supporting role.
There are a few main performance styles rom Ye Ram. The dual acoustic/electric guitars with her vocals, full band, and the Kim Sawol off-shoot. I actually find it interesting how closely some tracks, like “Secret Lover,” sound so close to Kim Sawol. I don’t think that’s a weakness of the genre, but also shows how close artists are to each other while having individual styles.
Ye Ram’s Castle is a solid album. It’s a perfect introduction to her music and style while also giving another voice within the singer-songwriter arena. After her 2017 EP, she didn’t release anything until 2019 and then this full length in 2020. It’s fortunate she returned because otherwise these songs wouldn’t be heard by the necessary audience.