Once again we return with another edition of Unsung Artists, where we highlight some releases that were not covered by Seoulbeats over the past month that might have escaped the notice of our readers.
May flew by with tons of releases from big names in the K-pop industry, but this volume of Unsung Artists sheds light on some (mostly) newer artists. From debuts to first comebacks, many of the songs and MVs listed are especially high energy and youthful.
Blitzers – “Breathe Again”
“Breathe Again” marks the debut of the seven-member boy group, and the MV has all the elements of a boy group release – especially a young boy group. The lyrics of “Breathe Again” hint at becoming individuals in a society that enforces conforming, and the theme is well reflected in the MV. From elevated red cages to stacks of school chairs, there are obvious symbols to indicate repression while mikes are a nod to the group finding their own voices. Sprinkle in some abandoned warehouses for the group choreography scenes, some acrobatics, and even a sunset scene, and much of the MV should be familiar to many K-pop fans. Despite being familiar, “Breathe Again” is not repetitive, and it is a promising debut for a talented group.
Woo!Ah! – “Purple”
“Purple” is a confident and creative song that happens to be packaged in a very bubbly and cute MV. “Purple” is the title track for Woo!Ah!’s third single album Wish, which is their first release this year since debuting last spring. True to the title, plenty of purple is featured throughout the MV, as is red and blue. Woo!Ah! references themselves as red and the addressee as blue, and confidently demands their coming together to create purple. The MV mixes animation and vibrant sets for a seemingly sweet song, but the strength of this release lies in its confidence.
“Purple” is not a hesitant confession of love, but instead an assertive argument by Woo!Ah! that they would be a great couple with whoever they are addressing. Bold colours and concepts come together in “Purple” to make it a release well worth checking out.
Tri.Be – “Rub-a-Dum”
Tri.Be is another group that just debuted earlier this year, with “Rub-a-Dum” being their first-ever comeback. “Rub-a-Dum” is their title track for their single album Conmigo, and the MV is a great mix of playful and intriguing. “Rub-a-Dum” is an invitation to have fun and play around, and the MV brings this message to life as the Tri.Be members play an elaborate game of hide and seek with their clones. In line with a song about letting loose and having fun, the MV is packed with colours. The variety of different colour schemes and outfits, including the ROYGBIV-inspired sets for the beach choreography scene, make for an eye-catching experience. The eyes are given no time to rest in a bright MV jam-packed with action, and “Rub-a-Dum” is both catchy and amusing.
TO1 – “Son of Beast”
Another group with a re-debut of sorts is TO1, formerly known as TOO. “Son of Beast” was released in their new mini-album Re:born, which is fittingly titled as it is their first comeback since their name change was announced earlier this year. The song is a determined statement on the group’s capabilities, and there is an emphasis on a slightly more mature image as the group progresses forward in their career. Making use of lighting and shadows, “Son of Beast” is slick and smooth and the ten-member group makes the most of their numbers in the choreography which is on full display in the MV.
Maddox – “Knight”
To round off the list this month is “Knight” by Maddox, which stands out amongst the other releases mentioned not only for its tempo but for its visuals as well. “Knight” is a sweet lullaby of a song in which Maddox promises to be the dark knight that will break you out of your darkness. There are plenty of mentions of fairytale elements like evil witches and riding in on white knights, but the MV is kept simple but elegant.
The MV alternates between light and dark, and Maddox plays dual roles as he appears bathed in both darkness and light. The hazy feel of the wide-open landscapes is a perfect complement to the soft vocals, and “Knight” is the ultimate gentle song to daydream to on a spring afternoon.