Trot is hot: It's not just K-pop in South Korea

A singer in sweet pink blouse belting out a sentimental Korean's a far cry from K-pop with its global hitmakers like BTS or Blackpink.

But South Korea's oldest popular music - trot - is making a comeback.

It's being propelled by an older generation learning to navigate the online world of fandom..

54-year-old Song Jon-choon heads up a fan club for singer Song Ga-in.

With themes like unrequited love and longing, trot resonates with the retirees who helped build Asia's fourth-largest economy from the ashes of war.

"I listen to Song Ga-in's songs in a car on the way home after work when I am under stress. Her songs heal my broken soul. I really like them," Song said.

And while it's been a long time since trot was considered cool, analysts say that its fans are now an economic force to be reckoned with.

"The middle-age and elderly generation, who have time and money to spare, invest aggressively in their stars. They feel they energize their lives," said Jung Duk Hyun, a pop culture columnist.

The genre has also been given a boost by movies like Mr Trot, featuring aspiring singers and the genre's superstar Lim Young-woong.

"BTS has its fan army. But we are known as the 'Mommies'. Most of us are mothers, 130,000 mothers. We want to protect Lim Young-woong like we care for our own children," said fan Hwang Eun-Jeong.

Partly because of the language barrier, trot is unlikely to catch up with the multi-billion-dollar global behemoth of K-pop.

But for now, the wave of nostalgia looks set to roll on - a musical respite during a year of crisis.