Seoul-based collective Balming Tiger has unveiled their debut album ‘January Never Dies’, and shared the video for new single “Moving Forward”.
A diverse music collective taking their name from the famous Asian ointment “Tiger Balm”, Balming Tiger describes themselves as a “multinational alternative K-pop band” with a desire to create an impact globally and carve a uniquely captivating lane for K-Pop. The main creative vision of Balming Tiger is to reflect and represent the younger generation of today’s society, aiming to further popularise today’s hyper-expressive Asian youth culture throughout the world, whilst drawing inspiration from a wider spectrum of global influences.
Balming Tiger say that the theme of the album is not attributed to typical established systems or the standards imposed by society, but to love each other and move forward, believing in their own inner selves. They say of the album: “As this is our first studio album released as a team rather than a compilation concept, we put a lot of effort into reflecting the tendencies of each member while also bringing together the big themes, and capturing the moments when cosmic energy is generated when we are together. It seems like a precious work has been born.”
Balming Tiger also shared the music video for key track “Moving Forward” upon the release of the album. The music video was directed by Japanese director Pennacky, who was the first to win the ‘Music Video of the Year’ category twice at the Korean Hip-hop Awards. The video for “Moving Forward” is an excerpt from the forthcoming short film “Moving For Word” starring members of Balming Tiger. The full version of the film will be released nationwide in Korean theatres later this year.
“Moving Forward” follows the experimental “Kamehameha”, widescreen “SOS” in April, the radiant “Trust Yourself” in January, and “SEXY NUKIM” in September featuring RM of legendary K-pop band BTS, which achieved record-breaking results including reaching #1 on Billboard’s ‘World Digital Song Sales’ chart. The music video for “SEXY NUKIM (feat. RM of BTS)” surpassed 10 million views.
Balming Tiger consists of performers Omega Sapien, sogumm, bj wnjn, and Mudd the student (who recently appeared on South Korea’s most popular music TV show SMTM, garnering millions of views), producers San Yawn and Unsinkable, video directors Jan’ Qui and Leesuho, DJ Abyss, visual artist Chanhee Hong, and writer Henson Hwang. Each artist in this ensemble expresses a different artistic identity and energy, as well as a wide range of versatility in crafting their distinct visual world, and all members have contributed to the album project.
Following the album release, Balming Tiger is set to debut two more music videos, including one directed by the talented Leesuho, a member of the crew. The album’s captivating artwork was crafted by the Milan-based illustrator GOODNEWSFORBADGUYS, with JNKYRD supervising the sound production, Norman Nitzsche as the mastering engineer, and the DooRooDooRoo Artist Company as the management partner.
Founding member and K-pop and K-rap sensation Omega Sapien released his solo EP ‘WUGA’ via LuckyMe last year, featuring incendiary collaborations with Grammy-nominated producer Baauer, NUXXE label head Sega Bodega and Vernon of K-pop collective SEVENTEEN. ‘WUGA’ followed the release of Omega’s ‘Garlic and the Mugwort: The Genesis’, a remix album which consisted of tracks from his debut album, ‘Garlic’. The Korean polymath enlisted a slew of producers and collaborators to once again push the boundaries of alternative music, resulting in a bubbling amalgam of digital hardcore, hyper-pop, alt-rap, and electronica.
Balming Tiger will take their live show on the road this year for their “January Never Dies World Tour” with stops including Iceland’s Airwaves Festival and Pitchfork London Festival. They completed a US tour in March 2023, with stops at SXSW, NYC and LA, following their first UK/EU tour in 2022, including a stop at the prestigious new music festival The Great Escape and Berlin’s Berghain.
At the iconic annual SXSW Festival in Austin earlier this year, they co-presented, curated and headlined ‘Tiger Den’, SXSW’s first-ever all-Asian lineup which included artists like Shye (Singapore), Tohji (Japan), LØREN (S. Korea), Lunadira (Malaysia) and more.
This year, Balming Tiger will cap off their world tour in Bangkok, Thailand, at Maho Rasop Festival on 2 December.
‘January Never Dies’ Tracklist:
3. Pigeons and Plastic (Interlude)
6. 5:5 Dharma (Interlude)
7. Sudden Attack
8. SEXY NUKIM (feat. RM of BTS)
9. Trust Yourself
12. Moving Forward