Lim Yu Jin (Korean: 임유진; born February 14, 1983), better known by her stage name Neon Bunny (Korean: 야광토끼) is a South Korean indie and synthpop singer. She is under the Doggy Rich label, an independent label founded by an artistic collective of indie-singers. Neon Bunny began her career as a keyboardist for the K-indie band The Black Skirts and officially debuted as a solo singer with her ‘Seoulight’ LP. The LP received great critical reception and she won the Best Pop Album Award at the 2012 Korean Music Awards, beating out fan favorite IU. Her music has been featured in popular Korean programs and dramas including We Got Married and Shut Up! Flower Boy Band.
She is recognized as a “bedroom-musician”, meaning she independently releases music to escape corporate creative control. Growing up, she loved indie rock musicians such as The Strokes and The Libertines. However, her father was fanatical about jazz and wanted her to experiment with the genre. She left Korea to study music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was there that she became involved with the underground band culture. She became inspired by the DIY approach to production and promotion and the different musical directions. She returned to Seoul and formed an “artistic collective” with her friends by creating the Doggy Rich label. She has listed Ladyhawke and Phoenix as her main influences and mundane objects, interests and experiences as lyrical inspiration.
First Album – Seoulight
On March 22, 2011, Neon Bunny released her first solo album ‘Seoulight.’ The album was a collaborate effort between her and producer Cliff Lin, an accomplished composer known for his soundtrack contributions to Transformers and Call of Duty. The record’s genre was an ethereal pop that differentiated it from the Dubstep techno-pop that was crowding mainstream charts in South Korea. The first single was Come a Little Closer (Korean: 조금씩 다가와줘). The album received acclaim from critics and won the Best Pop Album Award at the 2012 Korean Music Awards.
Sophomore EP – Happy Ending
On July 31, 2012, she released her sophomore project, the ‘Happy Ending’ EP. The song Oh My Prince was chosen as the lead single for the album. Neon Bunny once again worked with Cliff Lin for the 80s new wave influenced EP. The record earned her reviews from the famous K-Pop blogs Allkpop and Eat Your Kimchi, as well as The FADER and Dazed & Confused magazine. She was also a musical guest on the popular Korean drama Shut Up! Flower Boy Band. She was featured at the Grand Mint Festival 2012 in October, sharing the stage with other notable K-indie groups such as Nell and 10cm.
Neon Bunny was featured in Smells’ song Listen to Your Heart for the ‘Up and Down’ EP. She was also featured in Demicat’s ‘Out Loud’ EP in the song Singing Bird.
Why I Love Her
- She’s extremely awkward on stage and her dance moves remind me of Lana Del Rey.
- I love how pure and sweet her voice is and the repetitive nature of her songs.
- Finally, she writes her own lyrics and loves being part of the small indie scene in Korea.