Nell (band)

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KOCIS Korea Mnet Nell 02 (12987214054).jpg
Background information
OriginSeoul, South Korea
Years active2001 (2001)–present
Associated actsSeo Tai-ji , Pia
  • Kim Jong-wan
  • Lee Jae-kyung
  • Lee Jung-hoon
  • Jung Jae-won

Nell (Hangul: 넬) is a South Korean alternative rock band formed in 2001. The band consists of lead vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Kim Jong-wan, lead guitarist Lee Jae-kyung, 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" and "마음을 잃다" (Losing Heart) 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 [ko] was selected as number two 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 positions Sales
Reflection of
(Indie album)
(Indie album)
Let It Rain
  • Released: June 12, 2003
  • Label: Goesoo Indigene, Spotlight
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Walk Through Me
  • Released: November 18, 2004
  • Label: Goesoo Indigene, Spotlight
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Healing Process 51
Separation Anxiety
  • Released: March 21, 2008
  • Label: Woollim Entertainment, CJ E&M
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Slip Away
  • Released: April 10, 2012
  • Label: Woollim Entertainment, LOEN Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Newton's Apple
  • Released: February 27, 2014
  • Label: Woollim Entertainment, LOEN Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Released: August 19, 2016
  • Label: Space Bohemian, LOEN Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Let's Part
(행복했으면 좋겠어)
  • Released: November 14, 2018
  • Label: Space Bohemian, LOEN Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • KOR: 4,636
Colors in Black
  • Released: October 10, 2019
  • Label: Space Bohemian, Kakao M
  • Formats: CD, digital download, streaming
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Let's Take a Walk
(Re-arranged album)
The Trace
(Live album)
  • Released: November 28, 2008
  • Label: Woollim Entertainment, CJ E&M
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Escaping Gravity
  • Released: June 10, 2013
  • Label: Woollim Entertainment, LOEN Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, digital download

Single albums[edit]

Title Album details
Holding onto Gravity


Title Year Peak chart positions Sales (DL) Album
"Stay" 2003 N/A Let It Rain
"Thank You" 2004 Walk Through Me
"Good night" 2006 Healing Process
"Losing Heart" (마음을 잃다)
"It's Okay" 2007 Let's Take a Walk
"Time Spent Walking Through Memories" (기억을 걷는 시간) 2008 Separation Anxiety
"Recede" (멀어지다)
"Part 2" The Trace
"The Day Before" (그리고 남겨진 것들) 2012 3 Slip Away
"White Night" (백야) 5 Holding Onto Gravity
"Words You Shouldn't Believe" (믿어선 안될 말) Live ver. 2013 66 Non-album single
"Ocean Of Light" 7 Escaping Gravity
"Four Times Around The Sun" (지구가 태양을 네번) 2014 11 Newton's Apple
"Green Nocturne" (청춘연가) 9 Non-album singles
"Star Shell" 2015 77
"Lost In Perspective" (3인칭의 필요성) 25
"Dream Catcher" 2016 93 C
"Vain Hope" (희망고문)
"Loop" (그리워하려고 해) 37 Non-album singles
"Life Is Ninano" (사는게 니나노) N/A
"Broken" (부서진) 2017 99
"Today" (오늘은)
"See U in Five" (오분 뒤에 봐) 2019 147 Colors in Black
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Sales (DL) 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
"Holding Onto Gravity" 39 Holding Onto Gravity
"Blue" 58
"Coin Seller" 84
"Perfect" 2013 67 Escaping Gravity
"Haven" 78
"Boy - X" 82
"Burn" 90
"Walk Out"
"Memories Of A Stranger" (타인의 기억) 2014 63 Newton's Apple
"The History Of Silence" (침묵의 역사) 81
"Fantasy" 84
"The Great Escape" (소멸탈출) 87
"Night Of Reincarnation" (환생의 밤) 91
"Grey Zone" 93
"Newton's Apple"
"Dear Genovese"
"Horizon of Time" (시간의 지평선) 2016 C
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2013 "Run" Two Weeks OST
2016 "Waiting for You" (기다린다) Beautiful Gong Shim OST
"Breath" (숨) The Good Wife OST

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"[39] 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)[40] 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"[41] 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"[42] 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"[43] Nominated
2014 16th Mnet Asian Music Awards "Four Times Around The Sun"[44] Nominated
2015 17th Mnet Asian Music Awards "Green Nocturne"[45] Nominated
2018 MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards[46][47] Song of the Year "Today" (with Groovy Room) Nominated
Band Music Award Nominated
Genie Music Popularity Award Nell and Groovy Room 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 Chart.
  13. ^ "2012년 Album Chart".
  14. ^ "2014년 04월 Album Chart".
  15. ^ "2016년 10월 Album Chart".
  16. ^ "2019년 10월 Album Chart".
  17. ^ a b "Gaon Digital Chart". Gaon Chart.
  18. ^ Cumulative sale of "The Day Before":
  19. ^ Cumulative sale of "White Night":
  20. ^ "2013년 03주차 Download Chart".
  21. ^ "2013년 06월 Download Chart".
  22. ^ Cumulative sale of "Four Times Around The Sun":
  23. ^ "2014년 12월 Download Chart".
  24. ^ Cumulative sale of "Star Shell":
  25. ^ "2015년 12월 Download Chart".
  26. ^ Cumulative sale of "Dream Catcher":
  27. ^ a b "2016년 34주차 Download Chart".
  28. ^ "2016년 12월 Download Chart".
  29. ^ "2017년 30주차 Download Chart".
  30. ^ "2017년 46주차 Download Chart".
  31. ^ a b c d e "2012년 04월 Download Chart".
  32. ^ Cumulative sale of "Slip Away":
  33. ^ a b c "2012년 16주차 Download Chart".
  34. ^ "2012년 12월 Download Chart".
  35. ^ a b "2012년 50주차 Download Chart".
  36. ^ a b c d e "2013년 25주차 Download Chart".
  37. ^ Cumulative sale of "Memories Of A Stranger":
  38. ^ a b c d e f g h i "2014년 10주차 Download Chart".
  39. ^ "2005 MKMF part 1". Mwave. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  40. ^ "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.
  41. ^ "2007 Mnet KM Music Festival Part1". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  42. ^ "Winners from Past Years: 2008". MAMA. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
  43. ^ "2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards (part 1)". Mwave. MAMA. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  44. ^ "[Full Ver.] 2014 Mnet Asian Music Awards Part1". mwave. MAMA. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
  45. ^ "MAMA Nominees". mwave. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  46. ^ "2018 MBC Plus X Genie Music Awards Announces Nominees + Voting Begins". Soompi. October 1, 2018.
  47. ^ ""BTS·워너원·트와이스·볼빨간"…'2018 MGA' 후보 공개, 투표 시작". Naver. October 1, 2018.

External links[edit]