Cora Kim
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Cora Kim

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Pop Downtempo




"The Venue Review"

Montreal songstress Cora Kim pairs her ethereal voice with glitchy, boppy synth-pop. She will be launching her self-titled debut album in very good company: Toronto's soulful electro-pop outfit Unbuttoned, the ridiculously talented vocalist Beatrice Cornet and a regular Booty Bakery contributor, Doc'trin. - Midnight Poutine

"Single Release: Apgetaryong {Cora Kim}"

This is a single that represents Cora Kim quite well in my opinion; a tasteful mix of all the reoccurring elements in her music from synth pop to Korean folk to trip hop and r&b. Sonically, this song leaves a lot of open space for the eclectic instruments involved to breath and groove, leaving us feeling like we are being lifted out of our moment in time and cast into the realm she has prepared. Her delicate vocals dance around the beat and are equal parts rhythmic and melodic. The instrumental is comprised of high tuned drums and bright synths, among other percussive elements, that make for a very colorful and light landscape. All around a great production and developed sound. @thinknotsleep - Dingus

"Vids: Cora Kim – Lost in a Pool"

I absolutely LOVE this video! The music, the vibe, the visuals, everything is on point! Director Xuan Pham and photographer Yan Ladouceur showcase their creative visual expressions providing the perfect eye-catching backdrop for Cora’s beautiful voice and producer Tim Gowdy’s head nodding instrumentation. - Amped Sounds

"Cora Kim - Lost in a Pool"

Singer-songwriter Cora Kim will release her self-titled debut album on July 17th,The 10-track debut is the meeting ground for light and dark, where moody downtempo tangles with sugary synthpop in an infectious experience.

“Lost in a Pool" is taken from the LP and is beautifully constructed,it has some outta this world vocals by the songstress,the production is minimal yet classic making your whole listening experience just impeccable.

A real standout,on a repeat since i listened it,(must) listen it and drop your thoughts below on the comments section. - Ears to Good Night

"Debut: Cora Kim – Apgetaryong"

Here’s a great new track from Montreal’s Cora Kim. This one is from her new album, and it’s a real standout. A beautifully constructed dreamy little pop song. Plus its in Korean! - Silent Shout

"Cora Kim - Lost in a Pool"

“Lost in a Pool” is a collaborative down-tempo track between Cora Kim (singer/songwriter) and producer Tim Gowdy; both local talents. On “Lost in a Pool”, Cora Kim’s breathy, delicate voice is backed by a minimalistic arrangement of effected drums, synths and light guitar picking, that is reminiscent of Anja Garbarek and Little Dragon. She recently released a mesmerizing video for “Lost in a Pool”, which features the artistic work of Xuan Pham and Yan Ladouceur. Cora Kim’s eponymous album is available for download on iTunes. You can also check out Cora Kim live in Montreal on April 19th at Inspecteur Épingle and May 3rd at Shaika Cafe. - Sharp Eleven Music Blog

"Review: Cora Kim Debuts"

On Tuesday July 17th, four musical forces gathered at Il Motore to support the launch of Montreal-based songstress Cora Kim’s self-titled debut. [...]

Cora Kim is half Korean and the day of the launch was Constitution Day, a South Korean holiday celebrating the proclamation of the country’s 1948 constitution. This was not by design, but a happy coincidence served as a good omen.

Cora Kim's voice sometimes floated up, drawing one’s attention to the night sky above the venue’s ceiling, and sometimes it sank into your flesh, full and physical. Her performance of “You Only Live Twice” met the Nancy-Sinatra-sized expectations the song carries with it.

Kim also treated the crowd to two interpretations of Korean folk songs. Being entirely unfamiliar with Korean folk music, I certainly wasn’t hung up on the stylistic departure from tradition. The music’s Korean element was incorporated into Kim’s generally Western aesthetic to create a fearsome and mysterious hybrid, and her audience was well pleased.

So, 64 years after the Korean constitution was proclaimed, a new document emerged. It isn’t as popular yet, but perhaps in time Korea (and the rest the world) will celebrate the 17th of July as the day Cora Kim’s self-titled album first kicked ass for the general public. We can only hope. - Where Are the Shows

"Cora and Candy at Il Motore"

The night of Cora Kim’s CD launch was a classy affair, with a sense of quiet, composed beauty filling the room. Candles and small dishes of exotic candies were scattered around the room, and Cora Kim’s merch table included a few beautiful handmade necklaces alongside her albums. [...]

Cora Kim is a singer/songwriter backed by a drummer and a keyboardist/guitarist, while she plays her Alesis keyboard and midi sampler. Together they make textured low-fi pop that perfectly backs Kim’s sultry vocals. The heavy chords resonate in your chest, Kim’s keys chime, and the level of distortion would sometimes give their darker, more droning jams an almost shoegazer quality. Kim also spiced up the night by drawing on her Korean heritage, singing popular folk songs from Korea that I wish I could understand. I especially appreciated these songs, the way the pentatonic scales so common to Korean startle an ear so used to our Western scales. It’s probably not very often that these songs have been performed on such non-traditional instruments and with such distortion, either.

If you missed your chance to get a copy of Kim’s new album at the launch, consider heading over to her website! Her album is on sale there, and you can sample some of her songs before buying, as well. - Forget the Box

"Cora Kim Interview"

Sometimes when searching for new music you come across genres that look like a mess. Legitimately, 90% of these Franken-genres are absolutely horrible and assault your ears with plundered attempts of originality. I stumbled upon Cora Kim. Synth-pop and Korean folk? It was a hard one to digest in my head until her songs dazzled my ears with a refreshing sound. Cora took time away from her animations and sewing DIY projects for an interview with OCR.

OCR: You have a very eclectic cultural background. Your mother is South Korean and your father is British and Belgian. How has exposure to different cultural music influenced your sound?

CK: I think that being a mix has made me appreciate a lot of different things at once: be it culture, food, language or the arts. When it comes to music I’ve always loved singing in different languages, and being inspired by the rhythms and melodies of different cultures. I think all of that spills into the music I make, much like it spills into my everyday life.

OCR: You say your music is a combination of light and dark and describe your overall sound as a place “where moody down tempo tangles with sugary synthpop and dramatic Korean folk in an unexpectedly infectious experience.” When did it hit you that all of these sounds would work in harmony?

CK: It sounds like a crazy mixture when you put it in words, but it’s not something I was thinking about when I was working on the music. I was just going by what I liked and what I thought sounded good. But really things only came together when I started working with the right people, which allowed me to make my first full-length album. I was lucky to be working with some really talented Montreal musicians who helped shape the record, namely Tim Gowdy who produced and recorded the album. He really gave the music an edge that I couldn’t have done on my own, and actually was the one who suggested we do some synthpop arrangements of the Korean folk songs. We also worked with Pascal Shefteshy (a musician/recording engineer who’s worked with Sarah McLachlan and Rufus Wainwright), Andrés Vial (multi- instrumentalist and member of The Barr Brothers) and Philippe Melanson (a wicked drummer who’s played with Leif Vollebekk and Yannick Rieu).

OCR: You have an educational background in fashion and art history. How does this knowledge influence your choices when it comes to other creative elements associated with your musical endeavours?

CK: I think I’ve always been a visual person, so it’s important for me to give the music something visual to match. Fashion is great because it’s such an obvious form of visual expression and you can have fun with it. I’ve always been making things, so now I’m starting to sell my own jewelry and clothing at our shows. I think it’s a more personal type of merch, instead of your usual t-shirt or button. I’m also really interested in digital arts and computer programming. The artwork on my album is inspired by a language I discovered last year called Processing.js. If you go to my website and click on“Lifesavers” it’ll take you to a little game that I made with that language.

OCR: Your video for Lost in a Pool is visually captivating with a psychedelic aesthetic. What are some of the most significant art-movements that move you?

CK: That video was directed and animated by Xuan Pham and shot by Yan Ladouceur, two wonderfully talented Montreal artists who I’m so happy to have worked with. In terms of art movements, I’ve always liked Art Nouveau, there’s something about the flatness and sinuous lines that I love. I’m also drawn to the Dutch Vanitas Still-Life paintings, which are meant to remind us of the fleeting nature of life. I did a little Vanitas photoshoot of my first cat when I was a teenager right before she died. I had all the little symbols in there, the clocks, scales, rotting fruit, and her insulin medicine (she was diabetic). I’m not really a morbid person, but I thought that was a more interesting concept than the previous one of her amidst a sea of stuffed animals.

OCR: You seem to be quite a fashionista with a diverse sense of style. What are your go-to fashion accessories? Do you embrace DIY style? What are some of your favourite trends right now?

CK: Oh thanks! I’m glad someone thinks I’m doing it right. I never know sometimes... I’m really into floral patterns right now, like head to toe floral so that it’s almost a mess. I also really like small pendants on short chains, and cute little charms hanging from cellphones. I was really upset when I got my Samsung Galaxy because it doesn’t have the hole for the charm. Can someone ask them to make the hole? I mean they’re a Korean company, they should know better. DIY anything is a good idea in my opinion. I think everyone should be making things for themselves and presents for friends. It’s just more personal.

OCR: Your video for Natural Satellite is a stop-motion production. How did this concept arise for the making - Orange Country Reverb

"Cora Kim: A Musical Keepsake for Memories"

Who’s Cora Kim you ask?

Well like many of the best things in life, it all started with a love story. In a nutshell: it’s the 70s. A young South Korean woman leaves her country to work in Belgium. There, she meets a young English-Belgian man, falls in love, and fearlessly follows him all the way across the ocean, to Montreal. Out of the belly of this international union of love emerges Cora, in a perfect blend of four very distinct cultures.

This mixed little girl grew up to sing (I mean really sing!), to write lyrics, to play the keyboard and, when it feels right, the guitar. She also grew up to perform in many popular Montreal venues such as Il Motore and Casa del Popolo, as well as at our e-zine’s launch last October at Café l’Artère. This was how I met Cora, and this was when we realized how similar we were in our mixed-up-ness and in our search for ethnic and cultural identity. I express it all through the written word and sometimes through the lens of a worn out Canon Rebel XTi (as unlike Cora, my talents evidently don’t lie in my diaphragm), whereas Cora communicates it through music. Her music, which she composes and producer/engineer Tim Gowdy carefully produces and records.

But when Cora started making music, the point wasn’t really to get closer to her roots. She was at first very drawn to singing in different languages. Before starting to sing in Korean, she covered many popular Brazilian Bossa Nova tunes in Portuguese. Cora has a knack for what sounds good, what musical styles to merge and how to harmoniously combine them. Who else can credibly define their music as being “synthpop with elements of trip hop and Korean folk, with a little bit of R&B and hip hop sometimes”. Call it indie, call it pop, call it electronic or Korean folk; whatever it is, the fusion is flawlessly precise.

It was only a few years ago, after visiting her family in South Korea, that she realized it was important her work reflect her ethnic heritage. She started learning the Korean language, as well as traditional drum and dance, which inspired her to cover some traditional Korean folk songs. Cora’s approach in combining Korean folk with a more western-sounding electronic pop, is like nothing folks back in South Korea are in the habit of hearing.

Life in Montreal, and more precisely in Park Extension, is also an important factor in this creative process. Meeting so many people of diverse ethnic backgrounds like herself has allowed her to grasp how essential it is for one to connect with their origins, to keep their traditions alive and to pass them on to their children. In Cora’s words: “I’m very interested in cultural identity, especially when living in a multi-cultural city like Montreal. But then at the same time we’ve all grown up here and we’re all very Canadian, so being Canadian is also a big part of our culture now. It’s easy to get detached from your cultural heritage when you’re part of such a big mix. But there are things that can bring you back to those roots, really simple things like going to your mom’s house for her traditional cooking, or listening to some of your grandfather’s old records.”

Future projects include a second album, a Canadian tour, a couple of 80’s K-pop covers, and hopefully the export of her music to South Korea. But for now, she’s playing with her band this coming Thursday at Le Bleury [...]

So come join me there! And may Cora’s music soothe you and follow you throughout your lives as a keepsake for memories. In the end, that’s all she really wants. Memories are, after all, some of the best things in life. - Invisibles

"Nouveau Clip - Cora Kim"

Je vous invite à découvrir le nouveau clip de Cora Kim tiré de son nouvel album éponyme. Laissez-vous transporter dans cet univers aérien tout en douceur, le tout magnifiquement animé! Rendez-vous sur le site de Cora Kim pour découvrir toutes ses productions.

I invite you to discover the new video of Cora Kim, off her self-titled debut record. Let yourself be transported into this soft, aerial universe, all magnificently animated. Visit Cora Kim's website to discover all of her productions. - Camuz Music Blog


Cora Kim is excited to announce the release of her eponymous debut album through Indie Soul Records (worldwide) and Lee Way Music (South Korea) on August 1st, 2013.

Initially released independently in February of 2012, Cora's DIY attitude is what brought her together with some of Montreal's finest talent. Working with the help of Felix-nominated producer/engineer Tim Gowdy (Stars, Suuns) and producer/engineer Pascal Shefteshy (Arcade Fire, Fanny Bloom, Emilie Simon), Cora Kim is a subtle blend of downtempo, RnB, Trip Hop and Korean Folk. Notable appearances on the album include pianist Andrés Vial (The Barr Brothers), drummer Philippe Melanson (Leif Vollebekk, Yannick Rieu) and saxophonist/composer/dancer Adam Kinner. 

Cora Kim made impressions with online music-lovers at Silent Shout, Midnight Poutine, Forget the Box and Camuz, described as “glitchy, boppy synth-pop” [Midnight Poutine] with “some outta this world vocals” [Ears to Good Night]. Analog synths dance throughout each track, alongside careful production and at times unusual rhythms, lifting us “out of our moment in time and into the realm she has prepared” [Dingus]. “Lost in a Pool,” the first single off the album, was released in March alongside a beautifully animated video, described by Camuz as “a soft aerial universe.”

“I wanted the album to be a real mixture of things,” Cora says, “of music, visuals and cultural references that I identify with. The opener, “A Charted Life,” is a slow, pocket RnB tune, while the bouncy interlude “Bubble” is coated with analog hardware. “Natural Satellite” toys with metaphors and space, while the closer “Pastel Painted Tower” imparts a delicate introspection to the album. 

There's a curiosity for language which Cora explores through traditional Korean folk remakes. “It's a way for me to learn more about my Korean heritage,” she says. “But then I try to fuse that with what I already know.” “Apgetaryong” is one such cover, described as “a beautifully constructed dreamy little pop song” [Silent Shout], while “Arirang” is a dark and brooding version of the popular original.

Tying it all together is the album artwork: an installation of floating, bubble-like rings of fabric, inspired by digital circles drawn by the computer language Processing.js. The digital and physical are intertwined in a harmony of hard technology and raw emotion, much like the album overall.



There's something undeniable about Cora Kim. She sings, she produces, she designs and codes – it's the reason why those who've discovered her are sticking around for more. Since having her first singles aired on South Korean radio in 2009, the Montrealer has played some of her city's finest venues, toured the Canadian prairies and released an impressive debut album last summer through Indie Soul Records (worlwdide) and Lee Way Music (Korea).

Though still a newcomer to the electronic/pop scene, Cora has already made waves with online music-lovers at Silent Shout, Midnight Poutine and Forget the Box. Her first video for “Lost in a Pool” was dubbed by Camuz as “a soft, aerial universe, magnificently animated,” while her live shows have been described as “a fearsome and mysterious hybrid” [Where are the Shows]. With a voice that is as sensitive and delicate as it is full and physical, she's been compared to Anja Garbarek and Little Dragon, and has shared the stage with such noteworthy acts as Rae Spoon and Unbuttoned.

With a longstanding passion for diverse sounds and a curiosity for language, Cora brings an honesty and conviction to the music she touches. Born to a South Korean mother and British/Belgian father, she grew up listening to her parents' eclectic collection of records and tapes. This eventually led to a unique setlist for her early gigs, and the desire to explore her own South Korean heritage. She met Felix-nominated producer/engineer Tim Gowdy (Stars, Suuns) in 2010, who became her mentor/bandmate, giving her the confidence to start producing her own music. She bought a soundcard, a decent mic, a Korg Poly 61 synthesizer and began to dive into electronic music.

She released an eponymous debut album in 2013, a subtle blend of downtempo, RnB, Trip Hop and Korean Folk. The record rounds up some of Montreal's finest talent, featuring Tim Gowdy's production skills, as well as producer/engineer Pascal Shefteshy (Arcade Fire, Fanny Bloom, Emilie Simon), pianist Andrés Vial (The Barr Brothers), drummer Philippe Melanson (Leif Vollebekk, Yannick Rieu) and saxophonist/composer/dancer Adam Kinner.

Cora's played such noteworthy Festivals as Edmonton's Up+Downtown, DYDH's monthly MEWS, plus taken part in shows by Beatroute and Blue Skies Turn Black. Her live performances range from stripped down solo sets to jams with explosive drums, electric guitars and multiple synths. The music can take on different forms, from “glitchy, boppy synth-pop” [Midnight Poutine] to having “an almost shoegazer quality” [Forget the Box]. There's also some Korean folkloric dance in there too.

Things have only just started for Cora. Recent projects include filming a new video in the snowy woods of Connecticut for her second single “Folk,” collaborations with Montreal artists Steben Aleksander and Emily Gan, and a collection of ceramic jewellery and dinnerware (her latest discovery). A new album is in the works, as well as a series of interactive websites, keeping things exciting as the year progresses.

Band Members