Artist of The Week – Language of Shapes

language-of-shapes-by-chris-evansTristram Burden is a South Korean artist and ex-pat from Kent, England, who travelled the world for a number of years with his mandolin and some songs in a quest to meet other musicians who shared similar tastes in music. After numerous musical incarnations, he finally found what he was looking for in 2010 in the South Korean city of Gangneung, Gangwon-do. Burden set out to find musicians who, he said, “loved my compositions enough to learn them and play them with me.”

The members of Language of Shapes, now clearly one of the best indie bands from South Korea, include J.E. Seuk, who plays flute, mandolin, mandola and also sings, Kimberley Brigner, who plays flute and mandolin, Courtland Miles on bass and Bobby Goldberg on a djembe – a rope-tuned, skin covered, goblet-shaped drum that is played with the hands. Burden also sings and plays the mandola, bouzouki and the french horn. What Burden wanted was a band of mandolin players to perform his songs. The band’s music is truly original and unique, featuring a combination of psychedelic rock, folk and post-punk. The band’s musical Influences include Scott Walker, Wim Mertens, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Dinosaur Jr, and The Afghan Whigs.

“Our name,” Burden said “comes from a dream J.E. had about shapes talking to each other, and how she could understand and communicate with them also, but in an entirely abstract and untranslatable way.” The band’s songs are dreamy, and have a certain, stunning texture to them. Responding to ‘what is indie rock,’ Burden said: “At it’s best, raw music untainted by record company expectations, at its worst, something somebody’s already done, somewhere and somewhen else, but much better.

“Cage”Language of Shapes from Language of Shapes

“Hidden Hand”Language of Shapes from Language of Shapes

Language of Shapes on Bandcamp
Language of Shapes on Facebook

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  1. if you exclude a hundred other KOREAN indie bands, then, I guess, “clearly” … but the Cave/Walker vibe is clearly clear. Keep pushing it guys. Dig.

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