BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Award-winning South Korean indie rock band SE SO NEON will headline Indiana University Bloomington’s First Thursdays festival from 5 to 8 p.m. April 7 at IU Auditorium.
The performance is a highlight of Korea Remixed, a semester-long celebration of the people, art, and ideas that make Korea so integral to the global culture of the 21st Century. Each spring semester, IU’s Arts & Humanities Council presents a different Global Remixed Festival featuring an eclectic, contemporary series of performances, exhibits, films, public lectures, and conferences.
SE SO NEON pulls influences from rock, R&B, lo-fi jazz, and neo-psychedelic pop.
IU undergraduate student Shreya Mapadath said she’s been a fan of the group’s dreamy, psychedelic sound since stumbling upon its single NAN CHUN. “I love how their music feels retro and nostalgic, yet modern and experimental at the same time. People who don't know of them yet are in for a treat.”
SE SO NEON was established in 2016 with members Hwang So-yoon, Gangto; in 2017, Fancy Moon and the band released its first EP, titled 여름깃 (Summer Plumage), and went on to win Rookie of the Year and Best Rock Song for The Wave at the 2018 Korean Music Awards. In 2018, Gangto and Fancy Moon left the band to fulfill their mandatory military service. Lead singer and guitarist Hwang So-yoon selected bassist Park Hyun-jin and drummer U-su to revitalize the trio.
SE SO NEON is currently touring the U.S. after the release of its 2020 album Nonadaptation and most recent single Joke!, released in November 2021. Emily Meek, a master’s student at the Institute for Korean Studies, said SE SO NEON is a great introduction to Korean music outside of K-pop. “SE SO NEON’s music is so much fun. Joke! is energetic and creative, and Hwang So-yoon’s voice is incredible. I’m thrilled that IU is introducing more people to a new and different aspect of Korean music.”
Leading up to SE SO NEON’s headlining performance at First Thursdays—the last of the semester—will be sets from Singing Hoosiers; IU Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance; and IU student K-pop dance group UNi.SON, plus interactive booths featuring IU Corps, the Book Lab, Luddy School Maker Spacers, Political and Civic Engagement Program, the Queer Student Union, SustainCollins, and the People of IU. The festival will host over 30 campus groups and 12 humanities departments, including a design corner with six groups and some on-site gaming.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art will feature works by muralist Stuart Davis and master of design Saitō Kiyoshi; the Grunwald is hosting an MFA Exhibition featuring more than 50 student artists; and the Lilly Library is spotlighting the collectors and collections that make it one of the best rare book collections in the world.The First Thursdays festival is free and open to the public.