Offing is one of those Korean artists that I randomly stumbled upon during my late-night YouTube listening sessions. You know the ones: where you pick a song for the mood and you let the website’s auto-next-song function dictate your night. No one else does that? Just me?
I don’t know how YouTube found this obscure indie artist to slot into the “next up” position, but whatever Google is doing with its algorithm, it’s working. Offing’s Mushroom Wave is exactly my kind of song: chill, thoughtful, down-to-earth, melodic.
The oft-repeated word in Mushroom Wave’s lyrics, ulleong, is one of those colorful Korean words that stands as an example of what the language often does best: distill a complicated, nuanced emotion into a single syllable that then can be used poetically, musically, and inserted into conversation. Ulleong might be best translated as “upset stomach”, although here, it’s used in its more obscure definition to describe an undulating wave. Combined with the very similarly-sounding illeong, Mushroom Wave’s lyrics contain some of the most delightful rhyme schemes I’ve come across in Korean music.