20141216_seoulbeats_nellThis year has seen a lot of high profile comebacks. As the year wraps up, many of the flashier K-pop concepts and songs may overshadow these delicate band releases. Nell has been quite busy issuing their 6th major album Newton’s Apple earlier this year — finishing off their Gravity conceptual trilogy. With such a big album release completed this year already, it does come as a bit of a surprise to see these rockers announce another comeback with their latest digital single, “Green Nocturne.”

“Green Nocturne” is a dramatic rock ballad that follows the speaker in a journey that is definitely nostalgic. The singer is contemplative as they look back on their past. The MV similarly recreates this emotional voyage in the form of a constantly moving walk through different backdrops.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2lffy84yQE]

The production on “Green Nocturne” is sparse. The band really has a firm grasp at creating these softer sounding songs. Acoustic guitars strum along to a melodic refrain. The composition also adds on an intriguing element with a slightly industrial percussion. This pairing of the organic acoustics with the harsher drum beat is a great choice; it maintains a welcome rhythm to a melancholic merriment.

Kim Jong-wan’s vocal delivery is smooth and spot on here. His voice is nuanced and full of wayfaring experiences. The lead singer and the band do have a penchant for taking this voice that is full of expressive maturity and adding lyrics that are poetic and open to various interpretations. In “Green Nocturne,” the experience is relayed to a moment where you find yourself growing up and accepting really human feelings of pain and sadness.

“I would collide with things with all my strength to the point of breaking.

I don’t think I was afraid of doing that.

Because pain ends if you fight it out.

Because sadness also ends if you embrace it.”

Nell’s message here recalls the small bouts of courage people have when dealing with more turbulent times. Facing these feelings head on makes us stronger, and Nell hints that even if a relationship ends, the shared moments can still be remembered as a beautiful experience.

20141216_seoulbeats_nell3The MV is simplistic. Setting is the prime character in this video. The ambient sunset glow reflects the remnants of the day’s journey with the main male character walking towards a night to eclipse the rest of the events. The beauty of the video comes from this subdued color palette and these different environments presented on screen. The imagery is vivid as the main character in the video is shot constantly walking away from the camera towards an unknown destination. He traverses through a scenic countryside towards the busier cityscape.

Just because it is simple, the video doesn’t lull too much because of the smart camera work. It simulates movement by meticulously tracking in towards the moving character. There are pan shots and a variety of angles that always utilize the camera’s movement in order to build anticipation for the final resting spot. When the video finally pivots towards a front facing camera to the mysterious walker, the viewers reach that penultimate intrigue. The final destination on the trip is that exhilarating towering shot over the quiet city of lights.

Nell has this characteristic sound that really feeds into the mood of the winter season. Kim Jong wan’s voice has a lush quality that is warming. The cadence is inviting, and the understated quality of their music is pleasant to listen to. There aren’t any vocal acrobatics, but the simplicity and undertones of emotional disentanglement is what marks their releases with a distinctive flair. “Green Nocturne” is a gem of a tune that leaves one reminiscing about the little trials and tribulations of their youth.

Overall Rating: 4.25/5

(Woollim Entertainment, YouTube [1], Bnt News, Lyrics translated by jjoongie@countingpulses.net)