Nell (band)

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KOCIS Korea Mnet Nell 02 (12987214054).jpg
Background information
Origin Seoul, South Korea
Years active 2001 (2001)–present
Associated acts Seo Tai-ji
  • Kim Jong-wan
  • Lee Jae-kyong
  • Lee Jung-hoon
  • Jung Jae-won

Nell (Hangul: 넬) is a Korean indie rock band formed in 2001. The band consists of lead vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Kim Jong-wan, lead guitarist Lee Jae-kyong, bass guitarist Lee Jung-hoon and drummer Jung Jae-won. The group was named after the film, Nell, that starred Jodie Foster. The band is known for their gloomy and psychedelic sound, and has achieved fame with hits such as "Stay" from Let It Rain[ko], "Thank You" from Walk Through Me[ko], "Good Night" from Healing Process[ko] and "기억을 걷는 시간" (Time Walking On Memory) from Separation Anxiety[ko]. Their third studio album Healing Process was chosen as one of five best recordings of the year[1] by South Korean critics. Nell's fourth studio album Separation Anxiety was a hit in South Korea, ranking number one in various album charts.[2]

Musical career[edit]

Early years and turning point[edit]

The group performed at clubs around the Sinchon-dong area and released two indie rock albums, Reflection of[ko] and Speechless[ko], in 2001.

While performing at live clubs in Hongdae, they were picked up by Seo Tai-ji, and soon became the first band to promote under the record label Goesoo Indigene, a subsidiary of Seo Taiji Company in 2002. In 2006, the band decided to finish their contract with Goesoo Indigene. They signed with Woollim Entertainment.

The band is heavily influenced by numerous British bands such as Radiohead, Placebo, Travis, and Muse. They also performed a number of covers of Muse, Coldplay, Sting, and Bob Dylan during their gigs.

Nell has participated in both 2006 and 2007 Pentaport Rock Festival of South Korea, where Placebo and Muse also performed each year.

Hiatus and comeback[edit]

After a long hiatus due to compulsory military service,[3] they released their fifth studio album titled Slip Away[ko] on April 10, 2012 with the title track, "그리고 남겨진 것들" (The Day Before). Its music video starred Lee Min-ki and Song Jae-rim, but none of the Nell members appeared. Slip Away was a hit in South Korea, placed top rank in various album charts, such as Mnet, Bugs, and Olleh Music.[4] Kim Jong-wan featured in G-Dragon's song "Today" in his 2012 album One of a Kind.

'Gravity' mini-album series & Japanese debut[edit]

On November 22, 2012, Nell's official homepage included a new picture signaling Nell's comeback. The picture showed a large moon that had a kind of explosion going on. Nell's new album, Holding onto Gravity was released on December 3.[5] On December 2, 2012, Woollim's YouTube official channel released the music video for "White Night" starring Im Soo-jung.[6]

In January 2013, Nell made their Japanese debut with the Japanese edition of Slip Away, released by Home Game Records, a Watanabe Music Publishing label dedicated to Korean rock.[7] In May 2013, the official Woollim YouTube channel uploaded a teaser for the upcoming mini-album which was scheduled for release in June. Nell's official homepage was updated on June 3 confirming the release date for the second part of their three-part mini-album series of 'Gravity', Escaping Gravity[ko]. The music video for the mini-album's title track, "Ocean of Light", was released June 9.

2014 participation in USA concert and Billboard recognition[edit]

On March 11, 2014 the band performed at the second K-Pop Night Out at SXSW in Austin, Texas along with Hyuna and Jay Park and others.[8][9] And on December 11, their album Newton's Apple was selected as #2 on "Billboard's 10 Best K-Pop Albums of 2014" by Billboard K-Town with the write-up, "The strongest rock album of the year, Newton's Apple highlights Nell's vocalist/chief composer Kim Jong Wan's clever and honest songwriting skills, best heard on the single "Four Times Around the Sun" and "Grey Zone"....All the lyrics are wrapped in warm, lush arrangements and instrumentals that enchant the listener simply by themselves."[10]

2016: Space Bohemian[edit]

On March 22, 2016 it was announced that Nell ended their contract with Woolim Entertainment and set up an independent record label named Space Bohemian.[11] On August 18, 2016 they released their first album with their new label, "C" with the title song Dream Catcher.



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
Reflection of
(Indie Album)
  • Released: January 19, 2001
(Indie Album)
  • Released: September 26, 2001
Let It Rain
Walk Through Me
Healing Process 51
Separation Anxiety 59
Slip Away 1
Newton's Apple 6
C 7
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Let's Take a Walk
(Re-arranged album)
Holding onto Gravity
Escaping Gravity


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
2003 Let It Rain
"Thank You" 2004 Walk Through Me
"Losing Heart"
(마음을 잃다)
2006 Healing Process
"Good Night"
"Time Spent Walking Through Memories"
(기억을 걷는 시간)
2008 Separation Anxiety
"Part 2" The Trace
"The Day Before"
(그리고 남겨진 것들)
2012 3 Slip Away
"White Night"
(백야 / 白夜)
5 Holding Onto Gravity
"Words You Shouldn't Believe"
(믿어선 안될 말)
2013 66 Christmas In Nell's Room
"Ocean Of Light" 7 Escaping Gravity
"Four Times Around The Sun"
(지구가 태양을 네번 / 地球が太陽を4回)
2014 11 Newton's Apple
"The Great Escape"
(소멸탈출 / 消滅脱出)
"Green Nocturne"
9 non-album single
"Star Shell" 2015 77
"Lost In Perspective"
(3인칭의 필요성)
"Dream Catcher" 2016 93 C
"Vain Hope"
(그리워하려고 해)
37 non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Go" 2012 33 Slip Away
"The Ending 34
"Cliff Parade" 36
"Standing In The Rain" 37
"In Days Gone Bye" 40
"Slip Away" 45
"Losing Control" 47
"Beautiful Stranger" 51
"Hopeless Valentine" 52
"Memories Of A Stranger"
(타인의 기억)
2014 63 Newton's Apple
"The History Of Silence"
(침묵의 역사)
"Fantasy" 84
"Night Of Reincarnation"
(환생의 밤)
"Grey Zone" 93

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2008 "Walking Time to Remember" Four Colors of Love OST
2013 "Run" Two Weeks OST
2016 "Waiting for You" Beautiful Gong Shim OST
2016 "Breath" The Good Wife OST
2016 "You & I" Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo OST
2017 "The Memory Of That Day" Suspicious Partner OST Part.8

Video albums[edit]

Title Album details
The Trace
(Special Edition)


Year Song Album Artist Note
2005 "Let It Rain" Swan Songs Epik High Featuring Kim Jong-wan
2007 "I'm Happy"
Remapping the Human Soul Featuring Kim Jong-wan
2009 "Remaining as Melodies"
(멜로디로 남아)
Kkeun Han Hee Jeong Featuring Kim Jong-wan
"Naega Baraneun Na" Hwantastic Project - Lee Seung Hwan 20 Junyeon Ginyeom Album Lee Seung Hwan Featuring Kim Jong-wan
2010 "Living Next Door to You" Vegetable Love Hey Featuring Kim Jong-wan
Hurricane Venus BoA Composed by Kim Jong-wan
2012 "Today" One of a Kind G-Dragon Featuring Kim Jong-wan
"Shine" Another Me Kim Sung-kyu (Infinite) Written, composed & arranged by Kim Jong-wan
2014 "Amor Fati" Shoebox Epik High Featuring Kim Jong-wan
2015 "Kontrol" 27 Kim Sung-kyu (Infinite) Written, composed & arranged by Kim Jong-wan
2015 "Daydream" Featuring Kim Jong-wan

(under the name 'Borderline' with Tablo)

2017 "Time Lapse" My Voice Taeyeon (SNSD) Written & composed by Kim Jong-wan

Unreleased songs[edit]

Below is a list of songs that were not released in Nell's albums but performed at music festivals.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2004 2nd Korean Music Awards Artist of the Year (Group) Walk Through Me[ko] Nominated
2005 2005 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Rock Performance "Thank You"[14] Nominated
2006 4th Korean Music Awards Artist of the Year (Group) Healing Process[ko] Nominated
Best Modern Rock Album Nominated
2006 Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Rock Performance "Losing My Mind" (마음을 잃다)[15] Nominated
2007 5th Korean Music Awards Best Modern Rock Artist of the Year Picked by Netizens "Let's Take a Walk" Won
2007 Mnet KM Music Festival Best Rock Performance "It's Okay"[16] Nominated
2008 SBS The Music Trend No. 1 "Time Walking On Memory" Won
10th Mnet KM Music Festival Best Rock Performance "Time To Walk Memories"[17] Won
23rd Golden Disk Awards Best Rock Award - Won
2011 5th Grand Mint Festival[ko] Best Performance - Won
Best Moment Won
2012 14th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Band Performance "The Day Before" Nominated
4th MelOn Music Awards Music Style Award - Best Rock Won
2013 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards Best Band Performance "Ocean Of Light"[18] Nominated
2014 16th Mnet Asian Music Awards "Four Times Around The Sun"[19] Nominated
2015 17th Mnet Asian Music Awards "Green Nocturne"[20] Nominated


  1. ^ Park, Jae-deok (2007-01-17). "넬 공연, 예매 시작 2분만에 매진". Joy News 24. 
  2. ^ Kang, Ji-hoon (2008-04-01). "넬, 앨범판매 1위-콘서트 매진 '겹경사'". My Daily. 
  3. ^ "Nell to break four year hiatus with a February comeback". Allkpop. 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  4. ^ "NELL's 'Slip Away' sweeps real time charts + tracks from the album". Allkpop. 2012-04-10. 
  5. ^ Hong, Grace Dan-bi (2012-11-12). "Nell Signals Comeback with Teaser Photo". CJ E&M enewsWorld. 
  6. ^ "NELL'백야(White night_白夜)' Music video teaser (Drama ver.)". 2012-11-28. 
  7. ^ "Nell make their Japanese debut with 'Slip Away'". Allkpop. 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  8. ^ kpop1stop (March 6, 2014). "HyunA, Jay Park, Nell, Idiotape and more to Perform at 2014 SXSW Music Festival". Soompi. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ Minor, James (March 5, 2014). "Don't Miss South Korean Showcases at SXSW!". SXSW. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  10. ^ Benjamin, Jeff, and Jessica Oak (December 11, 2014). "The 10 Best K-Pop Albums of 2014". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ K, J. (2016-03-21). "Nell Leaves Woollim Entertainment to Set Up Independent Label". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  12. ^ "Gaon Album Chart". Gaon Music Chart. 
  13. ^ a b "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Music Chart. 
  14. ^ "2005 MKMF part 1". Mwave. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  15. ^ "2006 MKMF Part 1 : I Love Punk - Haerang + Lee SungWoo/ Break Through-SS501/ The Queen Is Back! - Cocoboys and Dodogirls + Um JungHwa". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
  16. ^ "2007 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  17. ^ "Winners from Past Years: 2008". MAMA. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  18. ^ "2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (part 1)". Mwave. MAMA. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "[Full Ver.] 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards Part1". mwave. MAMA. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "MAMA Nominees". mwave. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Template:Space Bohemian