Music Review: Lucite Tokki "Grow to Glow"

The music that I look for generally reflects my personality, and my insterests. I saw the album art for this CD and instantly wanted to listen to it. It's just so quirky! As I learned more about the band, I liked them even more, and their music keeps growing on me. Speaking of growing, it kind of reminds me of music for soundtracks of video games that I like, such as Pikmin, Katamari Damacy, Chibi Robo, Little Big Planet, etc, but I'll talk about that more later. I really love the sound of the band, and the "innocent" feel of the music! This is a short review solely on the album, and a bit on the artist, and not the packaging etc. Here it goes!

(루싸이트 토끼) Lucite Tokki's Grow to Glow, released July 11th 2012! 

Lucite Tokki (or Lucite Rabbit) has their own website, found Here! This is an Indie-Pop band that consists of only two members, who are both females! They met in College, as music majors, and found that they were the perfect musical pairing! Sun Young Kim is on Guitar, and Ye Jin Cho is vocals. They first named their band "Tokki", the Korean word for Rabbit, after Sun Young since she looked a bit like a rabbit and they both liked them. They later added "Lucite" to the name when Ye Jin was unable to buy a necklace made from that clear, glass type, material, so they just added it to the band name! They have been good friends and have now released three albums, and their closeness really comes out in the sound of the music. They were right when they thought that they complemented each other perfectly, musically, I agree 100%! 

They put out two Teaser videos for the album, and both of them are quirky and adorable! The first one is Free, is a bit funny, and very enjoyable! With, what looks like, homemade costumes and simple filming, it really suits the feel of their music, and is really fun to watch! The second one is Grow to Glow, and it done in the "Stop Motion" style, that I like a lot! It has clips of songs from the album, with cute dancing and exploring Rabbits! I also love Rabbits, so of course I would like the concept! They put out a teaser for Summer, their digital single that is also on this album, last year as well. (There is a YouTube channel you can check out as well labeled, "TokkiTV" that you should check out and subscribe to.) I'll just say something quick about the album art. I think it fits the band perfectly, it's cute yet a bit different than the usual. It's like space bunnies or something! Really clever looking, and I like the "glowing" effect on the writing as well! 

The music that they made has the mixed sound of Acoustic, and Indie Electronic, which is really refreshing and original! It has the "Pep" of Pop music, but it doesn't really sound the same. As I said earlier, it reminds me of the soundtracks for those fun games from Asia for all ages, like Pikmin and Katamari Damacy! I would label it as "Natural Electronic", because it has an outdoors, nature, vibe to it, even though it's synthesized. It seems to be like a soundtrack mixed with an Owl City vibe (if I had to compare), but it has a distinct "Asia" twang to it as well. This seems to be an acquired taste for people, so I don't think everyone will enjoy this, but if you love video game soundtracks, or "different" sounding synth music, you will probably really like this album! It took me a little while to really like the music, but after that I easily fell in love with it! So, without further ado, let's move on to the songs! 

- The Way 

The album starts out with a peppy, drum heavy, song with a retro feel to it! It kind of reminds me of '90s music but revamped a bit. The sound of the song is constantly changing throughout the track, which keeps you engaged. The effects on the music and vocals are really neat, and the sudden stops and style changes are great. Also, did you hear those high notes? Can I just say that I love them a lot? The part around the 1:00 mark is my favorite, with the fast paced piano riff in the background and the high vocals. The English is done pretty well, the pronunciation isn't perfect, but it's still understandable and pretty good! I think this one has more vocals in it than the others, but the music is still very complex. There are subtle harmonies in the background, and so many sounds in the music that it takes a while for you to recognize them all! 

- Free

This is the song from one of the teasers, mentioned earlier, so I can't help but think of that when I hear the song. It matches so well, with the Alice in Wonderland feeling to it! The start and stop in the music, along with the marching band sounds, really gives the song a "marching" feeling. I think it makes sense, you don't want to march with everyone else, but you want to feel free! The chorus sounds more "free" than the rest of the song, and the overlay of the voices is really interesting. The music and vocals overlap each other the longer the songs goes on, that gives it a really good building effect. I find myself inadvertently singing this song around the house now, the words come out before I fully realize it. The chorus is really addictive, as well as the song. 

- Go

I really like the playfulness of this song! Most of the song is in English, with the same overlapping vocals as before, but it's still done very well. I'm the kind of person who can't stand hearing two people talk at once, or two songs going at once, because it messes with my head and really irritates me, yet this song doesn't do that to me! They are distinct, yet can flow together well, and it's done in such a way that you can tell they know what they are doing and have a lot of musical skill. It really seems to be the kind of song I would play for a video of exploring a place with my friends. "The sky is bright, everyone is joyful, and there's a pep in our step!" That's how the song feels to me! The vocals have a very wide range in the song, and it sounds playful without being sloppy. The echo is also well done, I have to say that the vocals in this song are some of the favorites that I have heard. I really like singers who aren't afraid to be adventurous, and don't just focus on pitch and control. It suits the song, and the band, well! 

- Noisy Childhood

This song starts off with a classic acoustic feeling to it, and is focus more on that than the funky, electronic, sound that the last songs were. It feels very "Indie", like a small band playing in your favorite Coffee or Tea Shop, with that cozy and familiar sound. It's simple sounding, and has a bit of a '70s acoustic feeling to it. I think that the tambourine is what adds that effect to it the most. The English is also well done in this song, and I like the slight accent in her voice as well, I am listening to Korean music so I kind of like it when the English has an accent to it. There are some sound effects in the background, but they don't overpower the rest of the song. Overall, I would love to listen to this song as I relax with a hot beverage! 

- Vibes

This isn't as much or a song, as it is an interlude. It's a minute long, but I really wish it were a full song! Wow. I love the mystery in the music and vocals on this track! It starts off with only the sound of waves on the shore, and the music slowly drifts and builds in. It's not boring, but it makes me feel like I'm being lulled to sleep by the ocean. Also, is it weird to think of them as Sirens or Mermaids in this? Because I think that it suits it perfectly! It's as if they are lulling you to sleep, while drawing you in, but not really in a creepy way. The music really sounds like you are "underwater" as well. I find myself repeating this song over and over again, even though it's so short and simple. 

- Summer

After you hear the ocean with "Vibes", you move into the song "Summer", which was released earlier as a digital single and was put on this album as well. I think that the building music is really like a trademark of Lucid Tokki. It seems a bit redundant to say it over and over, but it's true! Most songs that are about summer are all about happy, fast paced, bright music. This song, however, doesn't fit into that category, which is a nice break from the cliche. I'm not saying that it's depressing or anything, it's a bit softer, and reminds me of those calm moments in summer that I remember the most. Instead of the memories or running around and screaming for fun, it's those closer moments of rest and story telling by the fire. The song does a great job of bringing those memories back to life. Nothing in the song is too powerful, and it all flows together well. If I heard this song on its own, as a single, I would definitely explore the band's music more! 

- I'm Here

I had a lot of fun listening to this one with headphones on! The singing fades from side to side, keeping your mind entertained and engaged. The lyrics have more of a poetic feeling than set lyrics, so making sense of them is a bit difficult compared to other songs. The piano riff, mixed with the synth sounds, and occasional guitar, are elaborate and it will take a few rounds of listening to catch all of them. You can take apart the song and every sound, or just let it play in the background! You can give it all of your attention, or just let it be music that you listen to as you busily work on other things, and I love that about the song. The guitar parts seem to remind me a bit of Tron, and the song feels a bit like exploring a strange place. 

- Last Night In My Dream

Ah, I love this song! Of course, it has a very "dreamy' feel to it. I tend to picture things as I listen to music, if you couldn't tell by now, and this one reminds me of stop motion pictures being painted and drawn by my mind. (It's a bit like Little Big Planet, mixed with Fireflies by Owl City, once again I kinda hate to compare, but that came to mind.) The music sounds child-like, as if from an innocent mind. Then, in the bridge, it's like the dream is changing for a bit and there is a strong echo to the music, and a sense of mystery, then it goes back to the same dream again. The last bit of the song is purely instrumental and slowly fades out, as if you are waking up. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and is something that I could listen to on repeat over and over again! It has the same Lucid Tokki feel as the rest of the album, but it stands out a bit more for me.

- Time to Grow

This song is very slow, soft, and mellow compared to the others. It has a melancholy feeling to it, as if she is sad or bitter about having to grow up. Personally, it reflects the feelings I have when I realize that I'm not a child anymore, and that kind of "Neverland" concept that appeals to us all. Her voice is almost haunting, fading from low to high notes with the music. Even though slow songs are supposed to be soothing, this song also keeps me engaged, as if in the state between dreaming and waking when your mind is more active than any part of your body. The 1:30 mark is my favorite part, where her voice builds a bit higher with each line. For such a complex band, I think this shows a lot of restraint, while still sticking to their "flavor". 

- Grow to Glow

After such a soft song, this one picks it up a little, but not too much to "shock" you with sudden upbeat music. This song seems to be connected with the last song, and has a nice "casual" feeling to it. You get a better feeling of the style and sound of the vocals in this song, they are pretty unique so it's good to hear them more clearly. The song has a type of intergalactic feeling to it, like you're taking a stroll in outer space! Is anyone else impressed by how she is able to say "grow to glow" so many time in a row? I can barely do that myself, so her English is pretty great to be able to do that. I think that is is a great title track for the album, and really sums up the style of the band in one song. Once again, complex, overlapping, music and vocals, with acoustic and synth instruments, and effects on the whole thing. It sounds like a garbled mess, but they do it so well!

- Time to Grow (Acoustic Piano Version) Bonus Track

The final song is an even more mellow version of the original. It's a soft way to fade out and finish the CD, so I like the addition of it. If you are getting tired of all the electronic sounds on the album, this track is for you! Her voice has more a a whisper-rasp tone to it, but it still has the same level of skill and range. This song I could be lulled to sleep with, especially after a long day. The change to only Piano does change the atmosphere of the song enough to rid it of the same gloominess as the original version. I this this shows the band's talent in not only complex, mixed, music, but also the basics of music as well. It makes me respect them even more, and the Piano is just done so well! I love orchestral and classical music, so this song satisfies that part of me completely! I'm very happy with the addition of this track to the end, and I think it rounds it out as well. As the music trickles down and the song ends, you are completely satisfied with what you just listened to. 

There you have it, the third album by Lucid Tokki! I really hope that you are able to check this one out, and not overlook it! It's great for the summer, and every day! You can listen to it as you carry on with your day, or really dissect every part of it, both ways of enjoying it work well! Having this in your music library will really add some depth to what you have, and is a refreshing change from everyday music that we here in the norm. Just by listening to them you can tell that they are influenced by great, older, folk-type music, which really rounds out their sound, but they also know enough about new music that is coming out to incorporate it into their own, unique, style of music. If I had to pick an album to be a soundtrack for my day, or any creative project, it would most likely be from this album, or band.

You currently cannot buy this album digitally, but their older ones are available. Hopefully, in time, this one will come out as well. You can purchase it online Here, through another Korean Music website, or perhaps on Amazon or Ebay. It's worth it to look this album up and buy it. So please, listen to this album at least once. This kind of music isn't everyone's "thing", but it's definitely worth a try!
I'm off to heat up some cocoa, and enjoy this album!

See you next time you jump down the Tokki hole,
(Oh, I see what I did there)