To Toronto-based Korean musician Jong Lee, the pursuit of music has been quite the experience. After completing a bachelor’s degree in classical music (that he didn’t want), Lee branded himself under his name Jong SL and started getting involved in Toronto’s independent music scene. Armed with a guitar and a loop pedal, Jong SL’s music was saccharine, lovable, and dotted with personal experiences about love. Further work under his own name found him winning local competitions like the 2018 TrakScout Original Music Award and even making it to the finals of Canadian singing competition The Shot.
Despite all of that, Lee decided a change was necessary–rebranding himself under the name Peach Luffe. “On My Side,” Lee’s first release under his new moniker, finds himself having doubts despite all of his previous achievements. But unlike the songs that he’s released in the past, “On My Side” is quite the different accomplishment for the musician. For the first time, he’s ventured into self-producing and self-mixing territory, and he even enlisted the help of fellow Toronto musician Eunice Keitan on backing vocals. On a Facebook video where he details the song’s audio panel, there’s audio filters, numerous vocal tracks, and audio fragments galore just within the one track (“There’s like 20 harmonies!” he exclaims). Finding a mix between effortlessly DIY bedroom pop production and gliding vocal harmonies, “On My Side” is a powerful testament to Lee’s expertise in clever pop melodies. As he plays you out on “On My Side,” it’s clear that Lee’s new project is something special.
However, even with such a bouncy, uplifting beat and strong vocals from Lee and Keitan alike, the lyrics of “On My Side” still have a glint of sadness. “I can’t seem to feel alive/ Please tell me that I’m alright / Maybe luck’s not on my side / Not on my side,” he worries out loud.
But with all of the bonafide mastery of “On My Side,” does he really need luck to succeed?
Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.