"Love is forever? But you're leaving."

Aseul is having a hard time with the contradictions of pledged love that turns out to be not so eternal. One of the freshest voices in the burgeoning Seoul indie pop scene, Aseul truly and fully came into her own with last year's Asobi (which made it to #33 on our top releases of the year, mind you), and she shows no signs of slowing.

If anything, 'Joke' is perhaps Aseul's most confident single yet, with her trademark aching sense of youthful romantic longing slowly being trampled by the cold maturity of adult life more readily present than ever. The video says it all, a solitary Aseul waiting for a call that will never come from a partner who she can't rely on any longer. To call it relatable is an understatement, and the tune immediately leaps past the language barrier.

Chatting with this writer via email, Aseul was blunt in shy English: "The lyrics are what I've been through. He didn't answer the phone. Lonely and lonely. and i usually say 'I don't believe in love'... as if I'm joking in a smile. i think love is anxious, miserable, beautiful and sad."

Check out the song, and its wistful, immediate companion video below, and stay tuned for more from Aseul soon.

Keep up with The 405's Tracks of the Day in our 2019 playlist, updated every weekday.