It's hard not to think of Bjork whilst listening to Youn Sun Nah tease her tender but powerful voice
Last night, South Korean singer Youn Sun Nah took to the stage of London’s iconic Union Chapel for the second event of the K-Music festival.
Youn Sun Nah opened the evening with a cover of Johnny Cash’s rendition of Hurt. Instantly, Youn Sun Nah comes across as an extremely talented singer; conveying emotions through her voice seems to come naturally to Youn Sun Nah. The agony and pain depicted by the lyrics are reflected in her tender and vulnerable voice, but that’s not to say that her voice is weak . At moments, the projection of her voice is powerful, full-bodied and always carries emotion.
Youn Sun Nah sings with unabashed confidence, which makes the impact of her delivery even more moving. However, once the song is over, Youn Sun Nah reveals herself to be a shy and timid girl. This contrast between her persona as a singer and her persona as an individual is endearing. Through the microphone, she speaks softly and gently, which is such a stark contrast to her performance, especially on Momento Magico.
This brings us nicely onto guitarist Ulf Wakenius, who performed with Youn Sun Nah on the night. Wakenius’ incredible guitar work was the perfect accompaniment to Youn Sun Nah’s style, especially on Momento Magico, in which she imitates the Wakenius’ intricate guitar part vocally. The song was inspired by a windy day, with the guitar thrashing about to reflect the gusts of wind, whilst Youn Sun Nah’s voice reflects the wind’s whistle. Even though Wakenius’ guitar part is incredibly busy, Youn Sun Nah still manages to catch each individual note with perfection, making for a mesmerising performance. Furthermore, Youn Sun Nah’s vocal range is extraordinary, keeping up with Wakenius who rushes up and down the guitar neck.
Youn Sun Nah’s contrast between Hurt and Momento Magico is exactly what makes her such a talented performer. Her voice is dynamic, adaptable, clear, elegant, beautiful and delicate.
The mood of her music is somewhat dark and at times eerie. Her rendition of the Sound Of Music classic Favourite Things has a melancholy vibe to it, whilst her cover of Randy Newman’s Same Girl, in which she uses a wind-up music box for her accompaniment is eerie but magical. Her performance of her original composition, Uncertain Weather showcased her style the best, mixing her melancholy moods with her confident but yet emotive voice. She made good use of the electronic synth to harmonise to add layers to her voice too, bringing about a more dramatic climax.
It’s hard not to think of Bjork whilst listening to Youn Sun Nah tease her tender but powerful voice.
If Youn Sun Nah didn’t convince the audience of her extensive vocal range on Momento Magico, her cover of Tom Waits’ Jockey Full Of Bourbon will have cemented it. Jumping from the depths of Wait’s signature vocal range to higher, almost operatic octaves, Youn Sun Nah proved herself as an extremely talented singer.Of course, the South Korean wasn’t going to leave the Koreans in the audiences without a Korean song. Youn Sun Nah sneaked two Korean numbers into her set, including a traditional Korean song, Kangwondo Arirang.
Youn Sun Nah illuminated London’s Union Chapel last night and received a well-deserved standing ovation. She truly is an incredible singer who undoubtedly has an exciting career ahead of her.