K-indie artist 10cm dropped his new single “Gradation” on Sunday.
Part of a release titled “5.3,” the song is described by 10cm’s label Magic Strawberry Sound as “an up-beat indie folk melody” that conveys how someone’s presence can gradually pervade a person’s heart until they find themself “to be in love unwittingly.” The lyrics of the song point to the title “Gradation” by using a metaphor of “ink spreading through.”
Some of the lyrics translated to English include “like ink rubbed off on a white shirt I can’t get you off of me anymore” and “sweet colors spread out slowly, can’t even recognize it anymore, ripened heart is about to burst everywhere.
The release is 10cm’s latest comeback since last year’s “The Third EP,” excluding his work for original television soundtracks. The name “5.3” continues the artist’s naming trend of his releases, starting with the 2011 album “1.0” and followed by other albums such as “2.0” and “3.0.” Singles such as 2015’s “3.1” and 2019’s “4.3” follow this pattern as well.
Spanning a career of over 12 years, 10cm, whose real name is Kwon Jung-yoel, has been a K-indie darling since 2010’s “The First EP” and its title track “Americano.”
10cm started as a project between Kwon and former member Yoon Cheol-jong, who left in 2017. The duo snagged a This Year’s Discovery Award at the 2010 Mnet Asian Music Awards, then won other accolades including Best Pop Song at the 2011 Korean Music Awards. Their songs “Sseudam Sseudam” and “What The Spring??” won Melon Music Awards in 2015 and 2016 under the Best Folk/Blues category, respectively.
Beyond 10cm’s own releases, he is best known for being a dependable mainstay when it comes to K-drama soundtracks. He has previously worked on shows such as “Hotel Del Luna,” “Start-Up” and “Goblin.”