The English word “evening” inspired the name of Day6’s first subunit. The head of JYP Entertainment, Park Jinyoung, created Even of Day when thinking of this word, as he explained that “may the dark night pass and greet a bright day” with this unit.

The first subunit of Day6 to be formed since the group’s debut five years ago consists of the three youngest members: Young K, Wonpil, and Dowoon. As it was announced earlier, leader Sungjin and eldest member Jae are on hiatus.

Nonetheless, Even of Day’s debut title track “Where the sea sleeps” from their mini album The Book of Us: Gluon — Nothing Can Tear Us Apart (a mouthful to say) still carries over the eloquent lyrics and distinct storytelling quality known to Day6. The opening notes of “Where the sea sleeps” hooks listeners with the sharp and steady drumbeats announcing the unit’s arrival. 

The best part (get it) of this track is by far the experimentation that happens during the bridge and the chilling parallel motion that occurs towards the end of it. Wonpil and Young K’s voices chase each other across the notes, and listeners get to see more of Young K’s stronger upper register and Wonpil’s lighter tone. This section has a beautiful texture that makes the song stand out from the rest of Day6’s discography.

Wonpil has the last line of the song, which is where the title is found — “to the place where the sea sleeps.” His signature timbre has a rough texture to it as he sings the final notes. Unfortunately, the debut song does not feature Dowoon’s vocals, although his voice appears in some of the album’s other tracks. Since the unit focuses on these three, it would have been nice to hear all of them represented in the title track. 

“Nothing can tear us apart,” however, is a very appropriate subtitle to the full title of the mini. This message is fully embodied in the MV for “Where the sea sleeps.” It is a literal journey and metaphorical in the sense that it reflects the band’s current situation. While Even of Day is three, Sungjin and Jae are still present in the music the subunit creates. 

My Day also plays a central role in the MV. The compass that appears in one of the opening scenes has the symbol of Day6’s fandom in the center. Just like a compass, My Day leads the band to their destination and stays with them throughout the journey. Living in a world taken over by Covid-19, it is comforting to hear that someone is fighting to stay by your side, as Even of Day sings “stay with me, don’t let go of my hand.”

The MV of “Where the sea sleeps” enhances the song and its lyrics with its emotional storytelling. The track on its own still sounds Day6, but it is not anything surprising. Experimenting, which may be hoped for a new subunit, takes the backseat. However, the space adventures of Even of Day’s Denimalz characters — Pil, Kke, and Don — weaves a more meaningful narrative than if the MV was just of the three members playing their instruments. 

Denimalz are Day6’s official merchandise mascots, and they make a welcome appearance throughout the debut album of Even of Day. They are even the protagonists of the MV. The pink bunny, Pil, represents Wonpil; Young K is the fox, Kke,”while Don the dog is maknae Dowoon. The two other members of Day6 are featured in the MV as miniature figures of their Denimalz characters. Jae is a chicken named Jje, and leader Sungjin is the huggable bear Bang.

The brightly colored animated MV of “Where the sea sleeps” is refreshing to watch in a crowded K-pop landscape of releases that feel the same. The Denimalz add a cuteness factor to the story as Pil, Ke, and Don explore space — a vast, unknown wonder. 

The first drumbeat falls, and the scene opens to the dejection of the three main characters as they figure out their next move after their spaceship crashes on a planet. Teamwork makes the dream work, as it is said, and Ke, Don, and Pil are soon seen pushing the button together that will launch their renewed ship. Jje and Bang, the characters of Jae and Sungjin, first appear next to a record playing music in the spaceship during the lines, “I want to be with you.” The five members of Day6 are together even when they are not physically together. 

Although the journey of Pil, Ke, and Don goes smoothly after this major setback, they fight through an obstacle course of asteroids that appear right as their destination planet comes within reach. The panic and fear in the spaceship is palatable when the first asteroid strikes the ship. The red flashing lights of the spaceship in panic mode colors the story, reflecting the terror of the characters, especially Don as he tightly clutches the Jje and Bang figures on the floor, as if they can protect him from the worst. 

When Don holds onto the two who are not there on the spaceship in the darkest moment, Ke reaches for the My Day compass. With the compass, he can find his way, regardless of where they end up. Then all three are hurtling through space, listless, when they crash into the water of the planet that was their destination. 

As Pil slowly falls to the bottom of the sea, unconscious or maybe close to death, a tear mixing with the sea, he is suddenly seen alone on a sailboat at night. The waters are calm and the stars shine brightly, but thick fog hovers above the sea. Pil takes in his surroundings with the lyrics, “please don’t leave me by myself,” accompanying this image. 

A paw touches Pil’s shoulder during the last “I don’t believe I can fight this sea alone,” causing him to turn around and see the rest of the members on the sailboat with him, even Bang and Jje. The five sail towards the crescent moon when Pil wakes up underwater, having been revived by Don and Ke (their astronaut suits protect them). 

“Where the sea sleeps” concludes with a happy ending after an emotional journey. Ke pulls out the compass, which apparently works underwater, and it points the way to land. And then they are finally on the shore of the planet they were seeking. A new adventure has begun. 

In one of the opening scenes of “Where the sea sleeps,” there is a photograph of the five Denimalz’s hands together. Even of Day’s debut title track and MV honors that Day6 is five, and that they will be five together with My Day, no matter what life decides to throw at them. 

(YouTube. Images via JYP Entertainment.)