Just in time for the approaching winter, three-member acoustic band Standing Egg made their return with the warm and nostalgic “reminiscence”, a song which is paired perfectly with a beautiful autumn video.
Starring young actors Shin Do-hyun (of Hospital Playlist fame) and Jang Woo-young, “reminiscence”, or “The Us of Yesterday” (literal Korean title) follows the story of a man who retraces the steps he used to take with his ex-girlfriend. The places which used to hold so many memories for the couple now have become places of longing and solitude, and this contrast is brought out by the deliberate way in which his solo shots are interspersed with the couple’s playful ones, adding a twinge of bittersweetness to an otherwise uplifting melody.
Just as the man enters the forest alone at the beginning of the video, “reminiscence” also starts off starkly, with vocals and a muted electric guitar instrumentation. Once she enters the picture, however, the drums, the bass, and vocal harmonies make their grand appearances, effectively increasing the richness of the song. This aligns with how she represents the beauty and joy of the fleeting autumn in this video, both in her visuals and behaviour. Beginning with her reddish-brown hair, her donning of yellows and reds, and the cheery way she showers affection on the male lead, it is evident why she still is the light of his life. Notably, while the man wears a white hoodie in his memories with her, he wears a dark brown shirt in his solo reminiscing trip, symbolising how his world has become darker without her around. The meticulous styling that went into the creation of this video really pays off in small moments like this, adding not just to its aesthetic value but elevating what is an otherwise typical love story.
Rather than grand, flashy declarations of love, it is the small, everyday moments that matter – of decorating a sketchbook together, of picking up maple leaves and flowers for one another, of cozily eating ramyeon in a cabin – and these are the memories which hurt the most when everything is over. Even though the male protagonist desires to move on, he is simply unable to forget about her, and this is expressed poignantly through this song’s lyrics.
No matter how much I try to forget
It still returns freshly
Like a ray of the morning sun that enters
And is present somewhere in my day
The constant evocation of the weather and the changing seasons in the song’s lyrics suggest that time is flowing by, but for the male protagonist, time continues to stand still as he remains lost in his memories. It eventually concludes with him losing this internal battle and surrendering to his desire to return to a time when they were together, even if it is a lie. A sobering ending, but one that is entirely relatable. After all, who hasn’t desired to return to a more glorious past, especially one that used to shine so brightly?
The song itself is similarly affecting – it is not particularly novel in genre or style but there is so much heart packed into each belted high note of the chorus that listeners cannot help but be carried along by its emotional melody. Its electric guitar rift is a masterful touch, keeping things lilting and fresh while creating a magical harmony with the vocals. As always, the production quality of “reminiscence” does not disappoint, and it is remarkable that this band’s discography has stayed so solid since their debut in April 2010.
With Standing Egg’s relative anonymity (they do not appear in their MVs), creative space abounds for the portrayal of this compelling, well-crafted story, and “reminiscence” excels in all domains – its lyrics, song, and MV direction. While not ground-breaking by any measure, the band sticks to what they do best, and deliver a release worthy of this sentimental fall.
(Youtube. Images via Von Entertainment.)