It feels like it’s been barely a month since Sistar last promoted… because it has been. Nevertheless, the quartet have released a second summer EP, Sweet and Sour, consisting of their three previous summer singles, and two new songs, with “I Swear” as the title track. “Gone, Not Around Any Longer” rounds out the EP, for some reason. I’m thinking track six was selected via dartboard. Odd track selections aside, “I Swear” is a charming little ditty that proves Sistar are still the summer single queens.
The first thing that really stands out about “I Swear” is that it is extremely low-key. Sistar is not known for ever being low-key. “Alone”, “Loving U”, “Give It To Me”, and “Touch My Body” are all big songs about big emotions. There are many types of love songs. Songs about starting a relationship, songs about ending them, songs about passionate ones, and songs about mediocre ones. Songs about betrayal and jealousy and true, epic love that will last until the stars turn cold. And Sistar have sung about every single large emotion under the sun, usually while grandstanding vocally and visually. That’s not a criticism, Sistar grandstands excellently. That said, it’s nice when they don’t.
“I Swear” is a very small song at heart. It’s about being in a relationship, and just being happy. Often, people rush through life, too focused on a goal to appreciate anything else. Someone might say they love the weather of late summer, but if they never take a day to actually enjoy it, it doesn’t count. In “I Swear”, Sistar encourages people to get while the getting’s good. Savor that relationship, try new things. Life is never as long as we imagine it will be. The cherry on top is the utilization of Soyu. Her softer voice is perfect here, and it is glorious to see her shine within a Sistar song.
I know I would regret it if I miss today, I swear.
The MV was, in the grand tradition of summer songs, filmed abroad. In this case, Sistar jetted off to Saipan for “I Swear”. For those of you who don’t know what or where Saipan is, it’s a small island in the Pacific. It’s right by Guam, and is also a commonwealth of the United States. Basically, it’s got gorgeous island scenery, but has been spared the overdevelopment seen in places people have actually heard of. And was going overseas to Saipan worth it? I’m going to say yes. The MV is clearly not in Korea, and the low-key infrastructure suits the song.
“I Swear” has a lot in common with 2NE1’s “Do You Love Me?”. It’s three minutes of Sistar goofing off and having fun, but it works a lot better with “I Swear”. The nature of the song demands a very simple MV, and that’s what we get. Bora gets off her job as a waitress, the others pick her up and fun commences. They pick up snacks, road trip a bit, frolic in a hotel and on a beach, and go for a swim. And it is legitimately fun to watch, because the members of Sistar look like they’re having fun.
They’re not mugging the camera whilst simultaneously showing off their collection of well-connected friends. It’s just Hyorin, Soyu, Bora, and Dasom in a variety of entertaining places and providing a lot of unintentional comedy. Seeing the foursome strut out of a supermarket, arms laden with junk food, like it’s a runaway is too odd to not snicker at. Other highlights include dancing in various random parking lots, and Dasom and Bora acting like five-year-olds.
Intercut with the above are the requisite dance scenes. The first thing that really pops is the scenery– Saipan has some breathtaking views that the film crew did not waste. The choreography is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s very flowy, with each move bleeding into the next, while the current K-pop choreo trend calls for sharp, crisp moves. Still, I enjoy it. There’s a lot of body rolls and hip circles, combined with sweeping arms. It really meshes with “I Swear”s breezy feel. The wrist grab-slash-villanious hand flex is a smidge odd, but compared to Sistar’s last outing, it’s damn near Gene Kelly quality.
“I Swear” is a charming summer single that is everything “Touch My Body” wasn’t. Both the song and MV are miles above their previous outing this summer, and reassure fans that the queens are not stepping down anytime soon.