As Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Talented duo Melomance exemplify this enjoyment perfectly in the MV for “The Fairy Tale”, the title track off their latest mini album of the same name. As this feel-good song and video are just right for the season, it has steadily remained near the top of music charts ever since its release last week.

As a whole, the song feels full and warm but manages to remain light, thanks to the airy piano riffs which appear between verses and embellish the melody. There is just enough space in the instrumentation such that the song does not drag even when the strings come in, and its simple rhythm certainly keeps the song lively. In the same manner, the music video introduces variety with the use of a mixed cast, featuring separate individuals of different ages and backgrounds. To accentuate these differences, different lightings are used throughout the video for each individual as well, which is a beautiful and highly effective stylistic choice.

What connects these separate individuals is the colour red, whether it is a red bookmark that a student uses or a red clothesline of someone doing laundry. This is seemingly alluding to the red thread of fate, which is an East Asian belief that gods would tie invisible red chords around the ankles of those who are destined to meet and help each other in some way. While this belief is normally applied in romantic settings (i.e a couple destined to be together), it is used differently in “The Fairy Tale”, where refreshingly, no love-line is present. Instead, the individuals who were connected by this ‘red thread’ end up watching MeloMance perform together at the end of the video, after having spent most of the music video enjoying music on their own.

This is in line with the main message of the song, which despite seeming like it is about a romantic relationship between two lovers, sounds to me like it is speaking about the relationship between songs and their listeners. The same song could speak to different individuals in different ways, depending on which stage of life a listener is at, but the song will always remain a beautiful story for listeners to turn to. In a way, “The Fairy Tale” is also speaking about the important role singers or artistes play too–they are called to be a source of comfort and pleasure for their listeners, and at times even to inspire listeners to discover and realise parts of themselves that they did not before.

If it wasn’t for your heart
I would’ve never seen those sides of me
Now I’ll tell you about the sides of you
That you’ve never known before

I’ll remain as a story for you
I’ll always be your strength
Always as your pretty stories
I’ll remain next to you

The enjoyment of music, and how universal it is, is brought out clearly through both the song and the MV. The pure delight that pianist Jeong Dong-hwan shows on his face while he plays lilting melodies and the emotion which seeps through Kim Min-seok‘s rich voice shows how much joy Melomance has in creating and sharing their music. The ways the individuals listen to and enjoy the music also feels genuine, especially because their settings are so familiar and realistic. The student stressed out by schoolwork; the woman with loads of laundry to manage; the little boy who loves grocery shopping for snacks — these are scenes we see daily, so the use of these settings really bring out how ordinary life becomes more joyous because music is there to lift our spirits.

While the harmonious vibe of the song goes well with the MV, the utter lack of conflict in the song results in it feeling a little flat as a whole, with dynamism only being introduced during the bridge where both the instrumentation and Kim Min-seok’s vocals build up. His voice is as outstanding as ever, but the chorus of “The Fairy Tale” sounds like it was woven out of the same thread as their 2017 hit “Gift”, causing it to sound predictable and thus slightly boring. The call and response style of the instrumentation and the vocals in the verse keep the verses interesting however, and shows off the fabulous teamwork between the duo.

Comfortably amidst the breezy fun tracks being released this summer is “The Fairy Tale”, which is a heart-warming and beautiful reminder of the universal power of music. Melomance did not disappoint with this comeback and have yet to disappoint, so here’s to the duo bringing more joy to their listeners with their music.

[Youtube [1], Faena, Daily Times pop!gasa, Images via Mint Paper, Kakao M)