Six months following the release of “Lonely Night,” KNK has once again returned with a mature, stylish comeback for “Sunset.” Maintaining a steady stream of music since their transition into 220 Entertainment, KNK has chosen a concept fitting for a dark, moody fashion runway show – they have chosen to don silky suits while dancing in shadows that cast their silhouettes. The good use of shadows, lights, and color especially has made for an eye-catching MV to showcase the members’ growth. Although, the MV could have done with a real sunset to soak the members in its golden hour rays.
Earlier on the 15th, KNK released their EP KNK S/S COLLECTION, a small cluster of tracks that dwell on the topics of yearning and pain from love. Electro pop is the foundation for the EP’s production, whereas the title track further includes a seductive combination of 80’s synths with heavy drums and bass beats. The deep house pop instrumental works well with the members’ wide range of voices, leading to an alluring listen. In particular, Seoham’s deep, low repetition of “sunset” is a good contrast against Dongwon’s charismatic rapping and the higher vocals from Heejun, Jihun, and Inseong.
Furthermore, due to the relatively low number of members, each one of them is able to showcase their unique vocal color throughout the song. Utilizing this to their benefit, the song and MV truly allows each member to shine for old fans to enjoy and newer viewers to familiarize themselves with. Overall, it is a stylish listen to enjoy while unwinding under a shining moon or preparing for a night out. Alternatively, as aforementioned by most comments, it can be played in an upcoming runway stage with a moody theme.
Upon first glance, the MV makes incredibly good use of light, shadows, and colors. Depicting the group through choreography and silhouette aesthetics, the diverse camerawork and editing keep the viewer interested throughout the video. Specifically, the lighting often shifts from blue to red tones, changing the overall impression of the group from cold to warm. The flickering shadows further shift the viewer’s focus from the general choreography to a specific movement of their hands, an aesthetic that carries throughout the MV. The detail behind the lighting is intended to have the viewer focus on the most prominent parts of the dance, working to highlight the group’s overall artistry.
However, the lack of an actual sunset is quite evident. All throughout the video, the concept of a sunset is only described through the lyrics and at best hinted at with the use of bright red lights. The ending shot particularly signifies the members walking into a sunset, falling deeper into a love that they cannot seem to escape from. Arguably, the presence of neon lights portraying a sunset is fitting with the mention of neon in the lyrics as well.
Yet, the members remain in indoors throughout the ending, leaving more to be desired altogether. An effective idea would have been to have the members pursue a real sunset outdoors, if not showcase their choreography with a sunset background. Or at the very least, filming profile shots of each member being bathed by the golden hour rays would have certainly been an attractive sight.
Nonetheless, the members prove their skills in choreography and completely embracing this sensual concept. Compared to past releases, “Sunset” has been the most experimental, as opposed to being more structured for the general public to appreciate. Previous tracks such as “Lonely Night” or “Back Again” were reminiscent of the earlier 2008-2012 releases from groups such as Beast or MBLAQ. The familiar structure of a safe, but fun electronic pop background, coupled with melodic singing and easy-to-follow dance moves have resulted in a solid discography as a rising group thus far. However, the chorus in particular for “Sunset” stands out through the deep intonation that, by being repetitive, evokes a dark, almost theatrical mood.
In terms of genre and style, KNK succeeds in making their own mark within the rush of July comebacks. The only potential downside to this track is in the sudden change in musicality between the verses and the chorus. For some songs, a sudden shift in style can be a huge benefit. For “Sunset,” the transition from one segment of the song to the next may be more or less smooth depending on the listener.
All in all, 2019 proves to be a fruitful year for KNK, a young group that has undergone both a member and agency change throughout their three years. If anything, this comeback has cemented the group’s chemistry and skills within the music industry, as they continue to improve and impress as artists.
(Sports Kyunghyang, Yonhap News, YouTube. Images via 220 Entertainment)