Summer is once again approaching in Korea and the rest of the Northern hemisphere, which means a season of upbeat songs and their accompanying brightly coloured, beachy, pool-side MVs will be rolling in. Fromis 9 beats the crowds to it with their latest release, “We Go”, which puts a creative twist on the idea of a summer getaway.
“We Go” is the group’s title track for their single album, 9 Way Ticket. Consisting of three songs, it is the group’s first comeback with all nine members since Seoyeon took a break for injury-related reasons late last year. As the title of the single album would suggest, “We Go” and its MV are about travelling, though both emphasize the connection between travel partners more so than the destination itself.
Produced by fantazylab, the MV delivers on all things summer getaway. Seoyeon and Chaeyoung suntan at the beach, Jiwon lounges on a pool float, Jisun kicks back at a beachside resort, Jiheon and Gyuri go camping, Nakyung and Saerom traverse the desert, and Hayoung explores an outdoor market. Some of the sets look more inviting than the others, but nonetheless all the Fromis 9 members are clearly living up their best life on their vacations.
The summer getaway concept itself is a perfectly fine concept for a release, but “We Go” takes it one step further. From the very beginning, we know that none of these gorgeous shots of Fromis 9 on vacation are real. The opening shot is a computer screen that has Photoshop and a Zoom call with the members of Fromis 9 going. On Photoshop, a desert landscape is edited together, and Nakyung and Saerom are added. As it follows, all of the other scenes with the members exploring the beautiful destinations are not actual footage of their trips; instead, they are all edited into these fictional landscapes. In reality, they are stuck at home like almost everybody else in the world. However, they bring their visions of summer vacation to life with the help of each other along with some Photoshop and creativity, and the MV serves as a record of this process.
The glamorous destinations are neither the highlight nor the emphasis of “We Go”. Instead, in “We Go,” Fromis 9 is celebrating who they are with, not where they go. The entire time the MV is playing, Fromis 9 is on a group Zoom call; they chat, share ideas, and travel together — in Photoshop.
Though the fun that they are having is very much real, the MV makes use of graphics to remind the audience that the vacations are not. In their individual travel shots, the members are often framed as if they are on the front covers of travel magazines. For instance, Nakyung and Saerom’s wild west travel magazine is called Paradise. While being perfectly in theme, the effect is also a reminder that their visions are only limited by their imaginations. After all, in reality they are sitting at home just like the rest of us.
The MV is filled with gorgeous shots, but the editing is what pushes “We Go” past your standard summer MV. As the concept of the MV revolves around Photoshop and editing pictures, “We Go” makes its viewers distinctly aware of the fabrication of the images. For instance, as Jiheon and Gyuri camp, the shot zooms out to reveal the Photoshop that is being used on their shot. Many of the transitions between scenes also evoke a sense of switching between or opening up new windows on a computer. After the first chorus, the window containing the group dance scene is minimized to reveal Jiwon on her pool float. The editing, which flawlessly mimics using a laptop, is a nod to most of our realities today as we connect with others mainly through our computers and phones.
The MV also features a shout out to their fans, as the group Zoom call is interrupted by an incoming call from someone named flover. Once they decline the call they are back on track, and of course the finished video is shared to Instagram so that others can live vicariously through it too. What better way to emphasize the “separate but together” sentiment than sharing the video through social media?
Fromis 9 are charming in “We Go”, which is a standout release in its creativity and execution. It is a cheeky reminder that we may be alone, but we are together in our cravings for adventure.