Red pill, blue pill, or a third, more intriguing option? Anonymous South Korean artist Parannoul transports listeners into an imagined liminal space in their third solo album After the Magic. While Parannoul’s sound takes on a softer, dreamier quality in After the Magic than in their earlier work, this album still fits into the musical world they have developed over the past few years. As seen in prior albums, Parannoul’s work does not conform to any specific genre. Pulling elements from shoegaze, electronic, rock, and more, After the Magic gives us ten complex, layered songs whose rich composition allows listeners to hear them in new ways each time. There is never a dull moment; violins, drums, and guitars are juxtaposed with synth, bells, fuzz, and everyday sounds to create a boundless space where artist and listener are free to reflect and fantasize. After the Magic sounds like walking through a blanket of fresh snow on a crisp winter day—wherever you go, the path you make will be forged on a blank canvas, and it will belong to you. There is no need to exist within your bounds, as you have none. Time doesn’t exist in Parannoul’s dream-world: the past, present, and future all coalesce into a nostalgic feeling of hope for the endless opportunities that arise during the album’s one hour duration. While every track is stunning and artfully crafted, the songs “Arrival,” “Parade,” “Imagination,” and “Blossom” are some of the album’s highlights. After the Magic is a must-listen for all those willing to be transported into Parannoul’s world of possibility.
Annika Bjork is a sophomore in the SFS majoring in Culture & Politics and minoring in French. Annika’s favorite song from After the Magic is “Blossom.”