Jeon Ji-yoon, left, and Heo Ga-yoon of 2YOON. / Courtesy of Cube ntertainment
By Kim Tong-hyung
While newly-minted duo 2YOON, a spin-off from the popular girl group 4minute, has looked rather underwhelming here in its debut, their quirky music seems to be generating interest in the United States.
In publishing an online interview of the two singers Heo Ga-yoon and Jeon Ji-yoon, TIME journalist Lily Rothman described their music as a unique blend between K-pop ― most identified with its club-ready electronic beats ― and American country music.
''Country music and K-Pop may seem like strange bedfellows right now, but musicians and producers are betting that this unlikely union could yield the next chart-busting hit. Meaning: we could start hearing American-music influences in one of the world's most popular and dynamic pop genres,'' Rothman wrote.
Heo and Jeon listened to the music of contemporary country music artists like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood before recording their first album, "Harvest Moon,'' which was released in January. This enabled them to give their songs an element that has been missing from previous tracks released by 4minute, according to Rothman.
2YOON's recent music video, which features the two ladies hanging around in the barnyard, has an Anne of Green Gables feel to it.
2YOON is one of the many spin-off groups that are beginning to gain popularity on the K-pop scene as their entertainment agencies continue to look for different ways to milk the popularity of the artists they already established.
The trend was triggered by the success of Girls' Generation-TTS, consisting of Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun from the nine-member Girls' Generation, last year. Another popular sub-group is Sistar19, a duo of Hyo-rin and Bo-ra from the four-member Sistar, and Infinite H, or Dong-woo and Ho-ya from the boy band Infinite.