One thing utterly unique about Davichi is the fact that both songstresses, Hae-ri and Min-kyung, emit an outstanding warmth in unity with one another. One does not vocally exceed the other, the other does not surpass the one with her beauty. They are one voice, one artist, one “shining light”, inhabiting musicality and creating nostalgia. This solitary splendor is heightened in the duo’s latest mini-album, Hug. What is more epitomizing of unity than a sweet and sisterly hug?
Let me just add that the album art for Hug is not only vernal and poignant, but also almost maternal and indicative of a sort of fulfillment. The affection on Hae-ri and Min-kyung’s faces is both comforting and promising of the melodies that are to follow.
The very first track introduced on the album is by far my favourite. It is reminiscent of sisterhood, womanhood, and heartbreak. “Two Women’s Room” resounds with the tune of an acoustic guitar and wispy vocals. Told from an omniscient perspective, Davichi recall the days when they were in a loving but tumultuous relationship; the ebbing of scars, regrets, and memories is uncontrollable, but at the same time allows for reflection and ultimately, gratitude.
The unraveling of Hug and the vignette Davichi hopes to narrate can be recognized as a succession of stages and experiences in a relationship. “Two Women’s Room” serves as a sorrowful recollection, an exposition that prepares listeners for the rising action that is track number two, “Cry Again.”
With the cobbled delicacy of Budapest in the backdrop, the MV illustrates the struggle between two frail and fallible anomalies, the heart and the mind. The heart is Min-kyung, as she pitifully follows the ankles of her lover and tries to convince him of her love, and the not-so maudlin mind is Hae-ri as she follows the ankles of Min-kyung and consoles her, telling her not to cry anymore. The lyrics for “Cry Again” are absolutely heartrendingly cerebral, a discussion between the past and future, innocence and experience, the heart and the mind.
Please don’t cry in front of him,
You keep crying whenever he says something
When you couldn’t even say anything when he broke up with you
When you couldn’t even tell him you love him
Stop, stop crying
The future wipes away tears and cleans up the bleeding kneecaps of the past. Experience with a compassionate gaze, teaches innocence words. The mind, with firmness borrowed from experience, gently encourages the heart to speak.
Please stop crying and hold onto him
Don’t let the goodbye take him away
Take the words trapped inside out of you
Tell him you love him, if it’s not now, it’ll be too late
Please stop, tears
With sounds to go with the rising action in the overall vignette of Hug, “Cry Again” showcases the volatility and strength in Haeri’s voice, and the trimming assurance in Minkyung’s vocals. “Cry Again” has a meaningful MV, followed by prominent and memorable lyrics.
Exit rising action, enter climax. “Sorry, I’m Happy” is the clearly climactic and hopeful track on Hug. An upbeat and flawed soul shouts “right now I’m happy,” and understands its right to happiness after getting over and erasing heartbreak. Hae-ri’s impeccable vocals display assertiveness and confidence, and Min-kyung’s sensibility and determination are conveyed through her clear voice.
“Sorry, I’m Happy” transports Davichi to Budapest once more, except this MV is startlingly different from that of “Cry Again” — and in a very good way. The duo wander the nooks and crannies of Budapest as if they are adventurers with simple and curious minds. A selfie-stick, corner confectioneries, two dancing divas, and a memorable matinee that is Budapest after hours. To simply put it, Davichi tells us through “Sorry, I’m Happy” that the best medicine for heartbreak, is time and discovery.
The next track is the falling action, titled “To You.” Gradual, soft, and restorative, “To You” follows “Sorry, I’m Happy” in the way that a bad time coincidentally bumps into a good time on the street. The good looks to the bad with compassion and gratitude, but also with honesty and resolve. Davichi do the same in “To You;” they remind their lover of the good times and the love they shared, but also make it clear that they were troubled and needed space; that an end to the relationship was for the better. Life lived from this point on, will be better and happier for both sides.
Last but not least, the denouement “Spring” closes the vignette of Hug on a positive and persuasive note. The fact that love never leaves anyone alone is clear in “Spring.” The song has an elegiac melody with honest and raw lyrics. During a time of rebirth and seasonal change, Davichi’s lover is making his exit. Although the lyrics express melancholy, I think they are meant to be interpreted as the end of the bad, and the possibility of a new beginning for the good. Let’s look at it this way; nothing results from everything, so too does something begin from nothing.
Fans of the sorrowful, the sentient, and the splendid will enjoy Hug for the story it tells. The effort and vocal excellence that Davichi put into this fourth mini-album is plain and enjoyable. If you are looking for a terse yet memorable story, I urge you to give Hug an ear and if you can spare one, a “hug.”