Everglow is one of the most exciting new acts in K-pop having debuted with the hugely successful singles “Bon Bon Chocolat” and “Adios” in 2019. Everglow has returned with “Dun Dun” the lead single off of their newest EP, reminiscence.
The track’s onomatopoeia titling “Dun Dun” serves as a substitute for done done or dumb dumb avoiding what would have been a titling clash with Red Velvet‘s “Dumb Dumb”.
“Dun Dun” intermingles the unique vocal performances of “Bon Bon Chocolat” with the anthemic highs of “Adios”. It feels like the explosive point for Everglow with over 16 million views on Youtube in one day. Everglow has beaten other popular new acts such as Oneus and Itzy to the first major hit of 2020. Overtaking Zico‘s “Any Song” viewership numbers in a matter of hours. It remains to be seen if this will translate to success on Korean charts.
The MV for “Dun Dun” starts off with an eyecatching triangular formation which features a stomping sequence backed by masked back-up dancers. This opening sequence is placed in an iceberg landscape which remains the central point of the MV and its coordinated dance sequences. The MV breaks into differentiating shots complimenting each of the six members.
There is a sudden false-chorus by Yiren that is devoid of instrumentation, only carrying the “you’re so done” refrain. The MV itself makes gorgeous use of this empty space with a pendulum swaying dance routine that is both gentle and menacing in its delivery. Allowing for a beautiful visual moment, in its iceberg visual with each member painted black in both the foreground and the background.
As the MV pushes on, we’re greeted by a quick rap-sung verse by E:U and Aisha that sums-up the empowering lyrical theme of the track;
I’m more fearless
Than I look so strong
Don’t let down your guard
Or I’ll flip the tables bomb, the bomb
I’ll dominate in a flash and leave you breathless
Talking cool but my gestures are hot like uh,
I won’t stop, can’t stop I’m aiming for you
Interestingly, Mia covers most of the songs vocal distribution with a section in both the pre-chorus, chorus and first outro of the track. Luckily, this trend does not run into the rest of reminiscence‘s structure. The EP itself does, however, carry similar sonic themes as “Dun Dun”. The track, “Player” especially sounds like a continuation of “Dun Dun” having the same breakdowns and EDM engulfed choruses.
Visually, the MV pushes for an apocalyptic visual with comets raining down, and back up dancers serving as foot-soldiers in their bannered and masked routines. It’s nothing mind-blowing but it does allow Everglow the space to perform. With these vast conceptual spaces, Everglow is able to successfully have their dance performances stand as the most appealing part of their MV.
“Dun Dun” has gathered some controversy as portions of its instrumentation share a striking resemblance to Total Ape‘s “Young Gods”. It’s a fair comparison to make within the sphere of K-pop but as a soundscape, neither act can really claim their right to an admittedly common build-up section within the EDM world.
It is worth noting though that both sets of producers for each respective track have artists hailing from Sweden. (Olof Mårten Lindskog for “Dun Dun” & Alessandra Günthardt for “Young Gods”) Indicating that perhaps this sound has a Swedish backstory whether that be a story of imitation or commonality of sound.
Another development surrounding Everglow has to do with a possible additional member. With talks that Choi Yena of Iz One could join Everglow should Iz One disband in the same manner as X1. This possibility of disbandment is due to the controversy surrounding voting rigging in the Produce series. This seems unlikely as Iz One has returned to promoting their debut album Bloom*Iz which is now slated for a February 16th release.
Alongside Iz One, February is a packed month in terms of competition for Everglow. With BTS, Pentagon and Monsta X all scheduled to release new music this month. It will be interesting to see where Everglow fits into the K-pop power dynamics of 2020.
Overall, “Dun Dun” has delivered with a brilliant performance mixed in with a dash of controversy. The numbers can lie, as we’ve learnt the last few years in K-pop. When even established acts such as Loona, GFriend & iKon have not been able to match the sheer numbers behind this single; it seems very likely that Everglow will continue with their blinding rise in popularity.