After a busy 2021 with two different comebacks and a change in management, Fromis 9 is back with their fourth EP Midnight Guest. The MV for “DM”, their title track, keeps what makes Fromis 9 great while showcasing a new side of the group.

The song itself is not unique to Fromis 9’s discography. It’s a straightforward love song, in which Fromis 9 describe how happy and excited they are to spend time with their special someone. There are other elements that are consistent with their other comebacks; “DM” is upbeat, catchy, and there is a shout out to their fans, called Flover, in the form of a Flover road that they dance on. Lastly, Fromis 9 can be promised to deliver a vibrant and energetic MV, and on that front “DM” does not miss.

However, there are distinct differences between “DM” and their previous releases. The first contrast is the lack of a unique narrative. The story at the centre of the MV is incredibly straightforward and stays true to the song. Nagyung kicks off the MV as she sees her diary and sees that it is the day she has been waiting for: the day she gets to see her special someone. Seoyeon gets dressed, debating which shoe she should wear, which is a direct reflection of the lyrics, and Jisun admires the bouquet she has ready for her date. Finally, Gyuri tucks her teddy bear into bed before taking off.

While each member gets their moment to shine, not all of their scenes are relevant to the core narrative. For example, while Saerom rides a bike, clearly on her way to the date, Hayoung remains stagnant as she meanders through a colourful playground. Similarly, Jiwon’s and Chaeyoung’s individual sets are visually striking but do not contribute to the story.

One way that all of the scenes tie together, however, is through the use of flowers. The bouquet that Jisun holds in the beginning scenes of the MV continues to show up throughout the rest of “DM”. Gyuri has the bouquet in hand as she leaves for the date, and Jiheon is the next one spotted with the flowers as she dashes toward her destination.

Instead of treating each member as a separate character with their own story, the Fromis 9 members take turns playing a single character to go meet their crush. Indeed, the bouquet is handed off between the members, much like a baton, as they race to meet their crush. At one point, the flowers even form a path for Chaeyoung to strut on, and it can be inferred that the flowers function both as a present and as a key for the Fromis 9 members to get to where they need to be. As the MV comes to an end, Jiwon throws the bouquet into the air, signalling that the mission has been accomplished.

Along with the relatively simple narrative, another characteristic that sets “DM” apart from other Fromis 9 releases is the aesthetic. Instead of bright, summery pastels of MVs past, “DM” features a moodier colour palette. The MV is still incredibly colourful; the sets are filled with orange, pink, purple, and blue, which are all colours reminiscent of a sunset. “DM” definitely takes its visual cues from a night in the city, and their main group choreography set is the aforementioned Flover road, which is a set built like an empty, urban road. The colour scheme of their outfits, on the other hand, feature a lot of black, white, and denim.

The difference in styling, when combined with the cityscape visuals of the MV, present a more sophisticated side of Fromis 9. Having made their official debut in 2018, it makes sense that Fromis 9 might want to transition into young women from their girlier image. In that regard, “DM” makes a step in the right direction with the theme of young women having fun in the city. 

While “DM” fits into the status quo of Fromis 9’s discography, the visual cues from the MV could hint at the group’s maturing image. The changes are obvious but not drastic, and perhaps signals a gradual shift in their future image and themes they will present. Regardless, “DM” is a strong start to the new year, and hopefully whatever else Fromis 9 has to offer in 2022 is just as good, if not better.

(Images via: Pledis Entertainment.)