Music K Entertainment‘s 4-piece band IZ are as unassuming as their name. Since their debut in 2017, this promising band has gone unnoticed by most Korean music fans, gaining only the attention of K-band enthusiasts on a lookout for more instrument-fuelled music.
Although their discography cannot yet be considered extensive, IZ have already managed to craft a distinctive musical identity that sets them apart from others. With an average age of 21, the members of IZ are a lot younger than they sound, in part due to their throwback approach to their music as well as their lead vocalist’s Jihoo‘s thick and mature-sounding voice.
The lead title of their latest single album THE:IZ continues the band’s streak of emotive anthems. “The Day” is produced by Sweetune, a group of producers responsible for songs from artists like Kara, Infinite and Spica. Known for their 1980s inspired synth-pop and disco sound, it is utilised well in this track.
The music video opens with the song’s title, a stark amount of blue and the song’s main hook, which is a simple ‘la la la la’s. Immediately, we are introduced to elements that embody the visual and auditory experience of “The Day” — intense yet calm and with an unmissable whimsical charm that leaves you in a trance.
Viewers are then introduced to Hotel IZ, a victorian-style building that is sure to remind viewers of hit Korean drama Hotel Del Luna if not for the music video’s heavy saturations and adherence to a predominantly blue palette. Instead, the colours are more likely to cause viewers to draw parallels to Wes Anderson‘s classic movie The Grand Budapest Hotel. Each of the four members introduced as a different caricature in a cliched hotel scene — lobby boys, a bell boy and the mysterious traveler dressed in black. The slight grain in the video gives it old movie vibes, reminding viewers that everything in the music video is very much far from reality.
Unfortunately, what seemed like the start of a promising storyline-driven music video ended within the first 40 seconds. The remainder of the music video alternates between group and individual shots of the members with their instruments. While these shots were made more interesting through the use of thematically consistent and aesthetically pleasing backdrops that tie in with nature, it is a pity that not more was done to expand the storyline of the four characters.
Nonetheless, the music video does an excellent job of making the viewer immerse themselves in the song’s soaring chorus and introspectiveness. The set and lighting designs were beautifully executed, in particular, the set with light bulbs as the centrepiece of a pavilion. Surrounding the members is the word ‘happiness’ written in different languages, expressing the universalness of happy weariness of a traveler who has gone through countless ‘days’. This contentment with life can be seen as closely linked to the consistent use of motifs surrounding nature.
As the song reaches its peak at its bridge with an exciting guitar solo by Hyunjun, it is disappointing that the music video does not deviate much from the status quo in its build-up, especially since the song’s hook starts to tire itself towards the end despite the creative ways it was injected into the song.
“The Day,” while a solid song by itself, is unlikely to be anywhere near IZ’s most impactful title tracks in their career. The music video manages to evoke the mood of the song, but fails to value-add the listening experience or give the song that extra push that would have left new listeners of IZ eager to find out more about the group, which is a shame given the band’s track record of producing rather distinctive music.
(YouTube (1), Source: Images via Music K Entertainment)