Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Park Hye Jin – I Don’t Care

We care that she doesn’t care.


Crystal Leww: The comparisons to Yaeji are going to come for both good and bad reasons for Park Hye Jin, so let’s break it down: musically, the sparse house production and mixture of English and Korean singing and rapping really works — similar to Yaeji. Aesthetically, Yaeji put everything together into the most assured live show I saw in 2018, and it’s clear that her vision for her music is the picture perfect, movie version ideal of what nightlife in New York City is supposed to look and feel like. I’m hoping that Park Hye Jin is able to string it all together in the same way because this really pops off in a different way — a dreamy, eyes half closed sway but feet still moving for the 6am come down. The rave is rising through windows at the rave, but this makes it feel boundless. 

Pedro João Santos: A stunning primer for Hye Jin’s EP, one that’s cerebral yet light, placing deadpan vocals against unrelenting beats and flourishing harmonies. It’s transparent and oxygenated to taste.

Iris Xie: There is a feeling of a slow, wakening emergence with the intro of this song. The pulsing beats, the chimes and twinkles, and Park Hye Jin talking about how she doesn’t care, and continually restates it even underneath the pressure of a murmuring and judging crowd. The song builds on that environment, and it ends up being a mesmerizing and motivational cadence: “In my life I can hope for anything/I believe in myself, I believe in myself.” In contrast with other future-aesthetic productions that use aggressive and obnoxious synth arrangements to demonstrate a take-charge attitude (similar to Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”), Park Hye Jin chooses a restrained elegance to convey her firm, quiet defiance. Specifically, when the cymbals and pulses come in louder and swirl around her chants, the interplay between her voice and the instruments creates a steady, hypnotic repetition that pulls you into her atmosphere. Additionally, the sparse instrumentation allows her vocals to breathe and echo, and it flows coolly like water over the production, creating an energy of quiet defiance. Even as the instruments fill in to become more bold, the ease is never diverted from its course. There’s no need to question if the future is coming — you’re enjoying it already, without concerns, because it’s a future of your own making. “I don’t care, it’s my life.”

Thomas Inskeep: Hot-shit Korean deep house, with lots of tricky little touches and a protracted, long intro. Jin is one to watch, for certain.

Ryo Miyauchi: Park’s voice is sort of snappy, a bite more reinforced through the song’s crisp four-on-the-floor kicks, but it also deflates with doubt. The faint synths pace back and forth, as if caught trying to work through some heavy thoughts. “I Don’t Care” overall hangs on to confidence as a way of self-defense but not without revealing some of the insecurity underneath it, and its mood lies lies in a grey area that sounds more true to how one might feel trying to embrace the song’s titular phrase.

Tim de Reuse: It’s awfully sparse, which irked me on first listen, but I can’t say that it feels unfinished. It’s sparse as a deliberate, stylistic choice: an exercise in fine-tuned production over a scant handful of elements that it really wants you to feel. And, yeah, I feel it, for the most part; I love the obnoxiously wide stereo effect on the hats, the relative dryness of the vocals, and how shy that twinkly descending synth line stays even when it’s thoroughly in the background. When all the elements are in lock-step underneath Park Hye Jin’s infectiously straightforward delivery, you can see exactly what she was going for, and you can see that she more or less nailed it, even though I might have preferred a shorter runtime overall.

Alfred Soto: House can accommodate singers with personality burst to overflowing. It also accommodates singers who sound like every other person who experiences loneliness, fear, lust. “I Don’t Care” on first listen has the stolidness of carved wood. Then Park Hye Jin murmurs suggestive lyrics; the result is sultry and intoxicating. Give it time in the living room, though.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Deep house like this is always impossible to deny, even if every single element is well-trod and overly familiar. Still, Park Hye Jin’s able to make “I Don’t Care” alluring because of its conceit. The intro finds her repeatedly stating that she’s going to do what she wants, and she delivers such lines in manners both irritated (as if provoked by someone else) and calm. Throughout the track, the repeated recitation of these and other phrases (“I believe in myself, I believe in myself…”) acts as a reminder that the dancefloor is a welcome host to all suffering, insecurity, and desire. As the warmth of the synth pads blanket the thudding kick drums, Park takes on a more firm tone, ensuring that every syllable is clearly heard. In her deliberate vocalizing is a familiar sound: that of the Asian woman who’s tired of being perpetually undervalued, of never being taken seriously.

Ramzi Awn: The synth pad on “I Don’t Care” has a way of elevating your body chemistry, and Park Hye Jin’s voice is soft and hard at the same time. The sound is so subtle, it’s more a vision than a song. Ambient, deep house and organic-market pop all at once.   

Will Rivitz: The obvious comparison point to Park Hye Jin’s rising star, on the surface, is that of New York’s Yaeji, in that both are female Korean DJs and vocalists tenaciously making waves in a deep house world that, by and large, is markedly neither female nor Korean. In this case, however, the thinly-veiled bigotry that leads to boxing musicians in more by race and gender than by sound happens to broken-clock its way into a twice-a-day accurate observation. “I Don’t Care,” like Kathy Lee’s best work, is a lushly lo-fi four-on-the-floor banger, moody synth work tied to this physical plane by biting drums and vocals. The rasp and crunch of Park’s kicks and hi-hats breathes life into otherwise flat chords, ensuring that the song’s proper place remains the dancefloor.

Reader average: [7.25] (4 votes)

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5 Responses to “Park Hye Jin – I Don’t Care”

  1. thankful that this got so many (wonderful) blurbs and a high score to boot. (and despite suggesting it, I wasn’t even the high-scorer on it!) <3

  2. for what it’s worth, i have changed my mind and it’s already a [9] for me whoops

  3. @Pedro: It was a really great choice, thanks for sharing it!

  4. meant to blurb this but it’s wonderful, it exists in the same world of frosted deep house as this cristian paduraru remix:

  5. when I saw this on the sidebar I thought it was ed sheeran/justin bieber