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Sanawon

Although Sanawon translates to "fierce" in Korean, the Chicago-based duo's music leans somewhat to the twee side of indie pop, thanks in part to leader Jenny Choi's lighter-than-air voice, highly reminiscent of the Sundays' Harriet Wheeler and Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell. Choi's vocals, keyboards, and cello are at the heart of Sanawon's sound, supported by drummer Philip Stone (also Choi's husband) and guest musicians on bass and guitar. Although Sanawon was only formed in 2004, Choi and Stone had worked together and separately in various parts of the Chicago indie rock scene in the preceding years. Choi, a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, first gained attention as the leader of Jenny Choi and the Third Shift, which debuted with 1998's Bittersweet. After 2001's Grand and Ashland, the group disbanded and Choi released a solo album, 2003's Postcard Stories, with help from Stone. That same year, Choi founded the Asians in Rock Tour, a traveling festival of indie rock bands led by Asian-Americans, intended to, as Choi's mission statement put it, "give voice to the often silent 'model' minority by broadening the cookie cutter stereotypes often relegated to Asian Americans, and to inspire Asian youth to avoid assimilating to mainstream tendencies in their artistry by finding original ways to articulate their own unique cultural context and identities." Choi and Stone also briefly had a trio project with Ben Weasel of Screeching Weasel fame called Sweet Black and Blue, and both work as guest musicians on various other albums. The duo's first album as Sanawon, Tiny Airplane, was released in 2005 on the Suburban Home label. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi
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Comments

Nice. "Best Worst Thing" Is a great song. Kind of post-punk, post 80's alt, and a very sweet chorus. I think this is the first female Korean singer that I've come upon in the indie scene...

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