Even casual listeners know Dreamcatcher as “the girl group who has consistently stuck with horror concepts” for their MVs. If you have never looked into their music, on the surface, this may all seem like a gimmick to try to help them stand out. However, on top of black being their favorite color, their songs also venture into darker themes than your average K-pop song. The group is not afraid to tackle difficult topics like bullying and abuse.
In connection with their last MV, “Scream,” Dreamcatcher released the second part of their story with “BOCA.” In the MV, Dreamcatcher follows through with the subject of bullying but this time from a protector’s viewpoint.
The MV for “Scream” and “BOCA” both carry the same tree visual with quotes implying the topic of the songs or MV. With “Scream” we saw “One day suddenly the light did not come. People forgot how to say good things.” The song was about enduring abuse and feeling the need to scream. The MV carried a magical theme implying the use of witchcraft. With “BOCA,” the quote, in the beginning, says, “Part II Dystopian: Lose Myself.” The MV definitely carries a dystopian theme with the members and back-up dancers dressed up in fighting outfits with staffs. In contrast to “Scream” which is about opening your mouth, the lyrics for “BOCA” proclaim they will shut someone else’s.
There are many instances where this message is symbolized with characters in the MV. In one scene, Siyeon is surrounded by statue heads that have red tape over their mouths. While silencing someone may seem like a negative action, in this case, the girls are fighters and protectors of the innocent. Siyeon’s stance is confident and powerful indicating that she will not let bullies hurt anyone with their words.
Throughout the MV, a haunting figure is seen stalking and chasing the members. The character wears a white mask and has a blurred effect on top of this. The effect furthers the mystery with the figure while creating a sense of vertigo in the viewer. In a different scene, we see several masked figures chained to pillars as they reach towards Dami who stands over them. As the song is about someone being a target, the masked character symbolizes a person who is out to hurt someone with their words. The mask implies the anonymity that online commenters are shield by when making negative remarks towards idols or anyone else for that matter. The voice of the song is a protector, though, and they are out to silence those who are making harmful and negative comments. In the end, we see the mask on the floor suggesting they were defeated.
The MV is contrasted with two settings that go back and forth between dark and dystopian to a mystical scene with a white-flowered tree. To go with these fairytale scenes, the members are sometimes wearing chiffon dresses and glitter makeup creating an angelic atmosphere. The setting is also used to emphasize Sua and Siyeon’s more breathy lines that are delivered during the more quiet parts of the song. While the members may look more innocent in these scenes, the bridge leads up to the chorus and main tagline in the song regarding shutting someone up. These scenes show that while they may look vulnerable, they can still defend themselves and others.
Dreamcatcher’s dance routines are always memorable and “BOCA” is just as intricate. They have an elaborate dance routine that helps emphasize the members during the lines of their songs. The MV makes good use of the back-up dancers who wear mouth covers to further display the main theme of the song. The back-up dancers also incorporate flag staffs into their routines that create a more powerful presence. Lastly, during the “Boca” line, the members will hold their hands over the other to mimic a mouth being closed.
The voice of the song expresses their frustrations with having to watch someone being hurt by words and the urge to protect them. This could refer to online bullies or verbally abusive relationships. In several languages with Latin roots, the word “Boca” means mouth. This suggests that the voice of the song is threatening to shut someone up for their hurtful words:
Where is the love?
If those thorny words
Start to hurt you
I won’t let them open that BOCA…
The MV ends with one of the members being hit by an arrow and bleeding gold blood. Gold blood is a reference to Greek mythology that points to immortal beings like gods and titans. This suggests that she represented an ethereal being. As the lyrics in songs point to angels dying, it is likely a reference to someone innocent being hurt by verbal abuse. The line has also been thought to refer to the people who have lost their lives due to bullying.
“BOCA” carries the strong and consistent sound that Dreamcatcher is known for. While they are predictable when it comes to horror concepts, their MVs and songs try to carry different messages that cover social issues like bullying and depression. “BOCA” is a good follow-up to “Scream” in which we see the voice of the song go from being a victim to being a defender. The MV helps convey this message with the use of symbolism and storytelling.
(YouTube. Lyrics via LyricsKpop. Images via Happy Face Entertainment)