With the weather cooling down and night arriving quicker, autumn calls for some unwinding with tea and soothing ballads. As a laid-back summer has come to an end, many artists have taken to dwelling on moods that only emerge in the greater silence – from Bolbbalgan4’s “Workaholic”, Longguo’s second mini album Mono Diary, or AkMu’s latest comeback with “How can I love the Heartbreak, You’re the One I Love” for their third full album Sailing. Idol groups such as Seventeen, Dreamcatcher, Laboum, and Twice have also made their return, with altered instrumentals and matured concepts that further extend their ongoing potential.
Most of these mainstream artists have taken the chance to provide a new approach with their musical color, matching the transition into fall. EDM and pop somewhat faded in order to offer more R&B and sentimental melodies, as well. Regarding the list curated for this segment, however, are tracks that completely leave summer behind to be heard only with orange leaves drifting down. Here are September’s select unsung choices for fall enthusiasts to still enjoy as October approaches.
The rising queen of both drama OST’s and late-night thoughts has arrived with another dreamy track to hum under the moon. “Sometimes” aptly continues the legacy of previous tracks that the general public consider her distinct “night tracklist” – with “When Night is Falling,” “Tonight,” “End of the Night,” and “Goodbye.” However, “Sometimes” is the only release with an MV that combines both animation and her own appearance in a cute yet ultimately sentimental story. Although, this song is a little more mellow and laid-back, making it an easy listen and solace.
The MV itself portrays the lingering loneliness that comes at night, following a breakup with a lover. A purple bunny represents Punch, the latter who mostly appears singing on a mirror. Meanwhile, the bunny is lost in thought, no matter if the moon shines or rain pours down. She drinks, weeps, and reminisces on the smallest memories – from drinking a latte or sitting under the streetlight with her past other-half. Despite this simple layout, the MV is never boring, either from the detailed illustrations or the unique settings Punch herself is always seen in. And of course, the lyrics are also painfully relatable, clear in its desperation and longing:
Sometimes I can’t sleep thinking about you
I might imagine something stupid all night long
I liked the latte at the café in front of your house
I wish I could go there one more time
The place we walked everyday under the streetlamp
This alley where we kissed
I can’t forget you, you’re growing clearer
Once again, Punch delivers a “must listen” for all lonely night owls to enjoy in the colder fall.
Rain & Soyou, Beginning
This surprise collaboration between Rain and Soyou has led to a pleasant surprise – along with older fans asking Rain to ultimately stick with this kind of sound instead. Although they don’t appear in the MV itself, their intertwined voices perfectly complement the relaxing acoustic and dreamy instrumentals. Also, along with the present actors is some shots of Pepsi cans – as indeed, this MV is the third leg of Starship Entertainment’s “K-Pop Collabo Project” with soda brand Pepsi. Parts one and two include VIXX Ravi and GFriend Eunha’s “Blossom,” as well as Monsta X Hyungwon and VIXX Hongbin’s “Cool Love.” With the season seguing into fall, “Beginning” indeed touches on the brewing excitement of embarking on a new page in one’s life.
The MV reveals two separate stories that, subtly intertwined, touch on the youth’s dreams as they embark to make their footing in the music industry. However, the natural, homey vibes found in the MV is largely attributed to the simple, pure filmography – from the environment to the captured scenes of both hard work and love. Thankfully, the PPL scenes of Pepsi don’t pop out too much, but rather serve as reminders that yes, this is still an advertisement. For the fall season, Pepsi and Starship also decided to elaborate on all things fall sentiments, while also targeting a younger audience. Altogether, it’s a nice, relaxing listen for the early morning.
F.T. Island, Quit
Considered as the frontman Lee Hongki’s last comeback prior to his army enlistment, F.T. Island released another heart-wrenching rock love song that is also aptly relatable. More so reminiscent of their older sound, “Quit” touches on the painful decision to no longer have anything to do with love ever again. The lyrics attempt to justify this choice with the continual patterns of breakups following love, and the past memories that one cannot seem to escape. Even words and affirmations of love are too painful to deal with, as s/he makes up their mind to not even leave behind any regrets. But this leaves the question as to whether this is even possible – or if it’s just temporarily running away.
Indeed, the MV storyline is fitting in its use of a time machine device. A woman unwinds the machine back to various months and seasons to re-experience special moments – from relaxing at home with her lover or holding hands in front of the Eiffel Tower. The silence and emptiness stands in stark contrast to the smiles, warmth, and good company portrayed in the couple’s relationship. Aesthetically, the location, colors, clothes, and more have perfectly adapted to the fall, which only enhances the mood of this season’s sentiments.
Twelve years into their career, F.T. Island still holds their ground with their solid discography and expressive emotions, altogether combined with a love for rock.
Piano Man, Just Friends
Coincidentally, Indie singer Piano Man is also undergoing enlistment soon. “Just Friends” serenades the listener with a track that apologizes for, yet boldly approaches, a lover despite his inner fears and doubts. The MV is shot on a simple rooftop during a slightly grey, pinkish sunset, furthering the aesthetics of hazy feelings and daydreams. The entirety of the MV focuses on Piano Man as he croons his new desires and determination to be her new lover, but for this release the technique seems to work. While viewing him sing, the audience can’t help but notice the emotions and splendid singing skills displayed from Piano Man. It turns out to be more than enough to keep them attentive until the end, as this simple approach also allows the mind to wander about one’s own unrequited love.
Yeoeun, Fight Day
Known as the previous leader and main vocal of now-disbanded Melody Day, Yeoeun continues to pave her way as a solo artist with “Fight Day.” This MV also uses the one-shot technique, as Yeoeun is solely filmed driving. Yet, the incredibly subtle but raw display of her changing emotions throughout the song is more than enough to bring the song to life. The pain and desperation associated with the song are portrayed through this simple approach, without any extra aesthetics. This drives home the message that the emotions felt from a departing lover is a familiar pain. All she needs, through the song, is for others to relate and resonate with her, as well.
Specifically, the lyrics are notable for its aching storyline, in which a woman begs her lover to stay despite his selfish departure. The lyrics mention that she affirms the mistakes and fighting won’t happen again – but this time around, he won’t answer her calls, leaving her to be alone. With this brief storyline, the rest is left to the viewer’s imagination, and maybe broken heart.
Kim Jaehwan & Stella Jang, Vacance in September
Following his solo debut with EP Another back in May, former Wanna One member Kim Jaehwan has collaborated with Stella Jang to release a sweet, lighthearted track on leaving for a fall vacation with a lover. The song itself is filled with hopes and dreams of experiencing a getaway with a significant other – meanwhile, the actual MV shows actor Bae Hyunsung failing to act on his interest in April’s Naeun. For most viewers, Bae’s presence reminded them of Love Playlist Season 4, in which he acted as Park Haneul, alongside with actress Kim Saeron. Juxtaposed with the hopeful song, the MV shows a double meaning – perhaps in Bae’s character wanting to go on a sweet adventure with Naeun, despite being unable to hold a conversation.
Though gratefully, the last minute of the MV shows some behind-the-scenes takes that haven’t been used in the MV but shows some hope for its plotline. Indeed, the two do fall in love and go on a fall vacation. Coupled with the amazing voices of Kim Jaehwan and Stella Jang, and this makes for an autumn hit to daydream along with.
All in all, these have been the select “unsung” picks for the month of September. If you’ve any other recommendation, please let us know in the comments below!
(YouTube      , Images via 1theK, FNC Entertainment, Grandline Entertainment, Naym Naym Entertainment, Rain Company, Romantic Factory, SG MADE, Starship Entertainment, & Stone Music Entertainment)