Five months ago, Onewe concluded their first mini album with the line, “I will gently pen the name ‘Cosmos.’” Now, the five-member band has returned with a new single and its MV, titled “Star” as a pre-release ahead of their next album that is scheduled to drop in January.
Following the threads left by Planet Nine: Alter Ego, Onewe continues to build out their signature space concept, which they adopted beginning with “Regulus.” Not only have the band managed to create a solid discography revolving around these ideas, but Onewe have also melded their poetic lyric style and their soft rock sound with their fascination of what lies beyond our stars to weave a unique—and beautiful—musical identity for themselves.
It truly is Onewe’s world, and we are just living in it. They did, in fact, create their own universe and explore some of its corners in Planet Nine: Alter Ego. “Star” resumes the journey the group paused with “Cosmos.” Their new song feels like an interlude between their latest album and their upcoming project, which is yet to be named and given a release date.
The narrator of “Star” also seems to indicate transition, as the lyrics suggest that they are not quite on earth but not quite at the “star” they refer to throughout the song. Furthermore, “Star” captures an emotional transition. Hope and possibility form a foundation for this track, as the lyrics of the chorus soar, “When we get to the star / I will find you when I get there.”
Musically, “Star” is classic Onewe: mid-tempo rock ballads with emotionally resonant songwriting are clearly their sweet spot, and this combination works beautifully for the band. From the moment Dongmyeong plays the opening synth-like piano chords, listeners are swept up in visions of a starry landscape hinting at adventure. Then Kanghyun on the electric guitar softly joins the mix with a broader, reverberating sound that contrasts with the clearer piano notes.
Onewe immerse listeners in a full layered auditory experience with “Star,” from Yonghoon’s vocals to the addictive harmony in the chorus to Kanghyun’s guitar solo and Harin’s steady beat grounding the track. In addition, “Star” has a subtle catchiness about it, similar to the effect of “Regulus.” The post-chorus “oohs” might grab listeners’ ears initially, but the melody and the opening instrumentals will keep drawing them back.
While “Star” as a song alone is a musical journey, its MV adds a critical visual element to this experience. Witnessing Onewe perform their song is a necessary piece to their identity. The “Star” MV highlights the band’s intricate musicianship and their expanding artistry through a simple structure of solo and group scenes where the members play their new track. However, there is a gentle fantastical cosmos-centric twist in this MV that builds on who Onewe are and asserts that their identity.
The otherworldly feeling comes with the purple gradient background speckled with shining stars, which is omnipresent throughout the whole MV. A bright moon takes up most of the sky, and the sun simultaneously shines. Shooting stars and the swirls of other galaxies further indicate that Onewe are in a fantastical place of their own.
A delicate film settles over the MV, casting a soft dreaminess onto the barren landscape and the galaxy above Onewe. Meanwhile, the camera is always moving, sometimes shakily during the group shots and sometimes in a swooping pattern, especially during the members’ close-up moments.
There is also a light vignette around the frame of the MV, pulling viewers’ eyes in toward the center of each shot. The focus, then, is on the area with the most light, which is usually a member and/or their instrument. For example, the vignette treatment creates more of an emphasis on Yonghoon, who often stands at the middle of his solo shots, and his bright blonde hair.
The outfits chosen for “Star” may remind Onewe fans of “Regulus” with the all-black ensembles. However, the stylists change it up a bit later, giving Dongmyeong and Harin flowing white tops and pants. Yonghoon, Kanghyun, and CyA also wear white, but gray dominates their costumes, with the main vocalist wearing gray slacks and the guitarist and bassist wearing blazers of a similar color.
This monochrome styling draws attention to the dominant color in the MV—purple. This color adds new life to the sky and sneaks its way into the details of Harin’s drum set, CyA’s bass strap, which is a change from his typical leopard print, and the body of Kanghyun’s guitar.
At the same time, the members and their instruments (for Yonghoon, his mic stand and his grandiose gestures while singing) are also prioritized with the decision to keep the members’ outfits monochrome. Simple details such as CyA’s silver headpiece, the stars on Yonghoon’s left cheekbone, and the dramatic V in Harin’s shirt catch the viewers’ eyes faster as well because of the more minimalist styling and location.
Above all, the “Star” MV kicks off a new journey for Onewe, beginning with a tighter focus on the members’ individual performance skills. The band’s previous MVs usually have solo scenes, but “Star” contains particularly intimate close-up shots of the members and their instruments. In doing so, there is presented a greater understanding of Onewe’s relationship with these instruments, their skills, and how they express the story of “Star.”
During Kanghyun’s guitar solo, for example, the camera sweeps around the body of the guitar, honing in on the frantic, yet also controlled, energy of his fingers and the movement of his pick. An earlier shot captures a calmer moment, as the close-up shows the sun glowing behind the plucked strings of Kanghyun’s guitar.
These solo shots are never static, as the camera either zooms in or weaves around the artist as they concentrate on their performance. They are also framed by the stars, creating some variation to how the individual scenes are presented.
While the MV for “Star” is standard for Onewe and nothing too out-of-the-box, the subtle visuals do align with the band’s growing confidence and strong group identity. And “Star” is not the end; even without the knowledge of an upcoming comeback, the track possesses some loose musical threads that indicate this era is not complete. As Onewe shows through the musicality and artistry of “Star,” it is onward and upward from here.