Formed in Seoul in 1999, Nell is a four member Korean Indie rock band and consists of Kim Jong-wan on lead vocals, keyboard and guitar; Lee Jae-kyong on lead guitar; Lee Jung-hoon on bass guitar and Jung Jae-won on drums. The group’s name comes from the 1994 movie, Nell starring Jodie Foster.
Nell’s first two indie rock albums were Reflection Of and Speechless, released in 2001, while performing at clubs in the Sinchon-dong area to increase their popularity and gain attention. While performing live in Hongdae they were recruited by Seo Tai-ji and soon became the first band to promote under the record label Gooseo Indigene, a subsidiary of the Seo Taiji Company in 2002. In 2006, Nell decided to split from Seo Tai-ji and went on to sign with Woollim Entertainment and are currently still under their management.
In 2003 their first major studio album, titled Let It Rain, was released with Stay named as their title track. This was then followed by Walk Through Me in 2004 with Thank You being that title track. In 2006 they released their 3rd studio album, titled Healing Process with the title track being Good Night. Healing Process went on to become one of the best five recordings on the year by South Korean critics.
Nell have stated that their influences are British bands such as Radiohead, Travis and Muse. They have also covered some Muse, Coldplay and Bob Dylan during their gigs. In both 2006 and 2007, Nell were involved in the Pentaport Rock Festival of South Korea, in which both Placebo and Muse performed too.
Their next title track would become Time Walking On Memory from the album Separation Anxiety in 2008 and became number one on various music charts that year. Between 2008 and 2012, Nell took a hiatus and served their compulsory military service, before releasing their fifth studio album, Slip Away with the title track, The Day Before. The song charted number 1 on music charts such as Bugs, Mnet and Olleh Music.
In November 2012 a new picture was released on Nell’s homepage signalling their comeback. The new album, Holding Onto Gravity, was released on December 3rd with December 2nd signalling the release of the title track’s video, White Night.
January 2013 marked the release of their debut Japanese album, a Japanese edition of Stay Away under Home Game Records (a Watanabe Music Publishing label dedicated to Korean rock). In June 2013, the release date for the 2nd part of a 3 part mini album ‘Gravity’ series was announced with Escaping Gravity’s title track, Ocean Of Light being released on June 9th.
The 3 part mini album series includes the albums; Holding Onto Gravity, Escaping Gravity and Newton’s Apple. Newton’s Apple was released in 2014 and was selected as number 2 on ‘Billboard’s 10 Best K-Pop Albums of 2014’ by Billboard K-Town.
In March 2014, Nell performed at the second K-Pop Night Out at SXSW in Austin, Texas alongside artists such as Hyuna and Jay Park. Nell’s next songs to be released were Star Shell and Lost In Perspective, both released in 2015.
Since their formation, Nell have won 7 awards in categories such as No.1 spot, Best Rock Performance, Best Performance and Best Rock Music Style Award. We hope that Nell continue to gain popularity and we hope to see them soon!!
Kirsty – January 2016